The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - GE­OFF SHEARER

She’s been in­vited to the bar­be­cue, but just make sure you’ve put the steak knives where she can’t reach them. Now, it’s not our place to spread ru­mours, but there’s quite a dis­turb­ing scene in Magda Szubanski’s lat­est film, The BBQ, where she hurls a meat cleaver at lead ac­tor Shane Ja­cob­son’s char­ac­ter, Dazza.

Wild, un­con­firmed, tit­il­lat­ingly sala­cious re­ports from on set have it that orig­i­nal cast mem­ber Hugh Jack­man suf­fered a lifechang­ing fa­cial wound dur­ing re­hearsals while play­ing Dazza, and that his re­place­ment, Chris Hemsworth, suf­fered no less than a limb am­pu­ta­tion on the first day of film­ing.

Szubanski plays The Butcher in the film, but alas dear Magda, did you re­ally butcher your cast mem­bers with dodgy knife-throw­ing?

“Ah yeah,” she says with a sin­is­ter lit­tle laugh when the ac­cu­sa­tion is jok­ingly lev­elled at her, “my cir­cus skills aren’t what they should be”.

“But you know, some­times there are ca­su­al­ties along the way when you’re learn­ing a new craft. What can I say, you’ve got to suf­fer for your art. They (Jack­man and Hemsworth) should just suck it up, quite frankly.”

The ru­mours are, of course, made up, but it wouldn’t have been out of the realm of pos­si­bil­ity for the crazy, lovelorn char­ac­ter she plays to be get­ting in for her chop, so to speak.

In The BBQ, The Butcher is en­listed to train Dazza to pre­pare and cook the per­fect steak for an in­ter­na­tional bar­be­cue com­pe­ti­tion af­ter he ac­ci­den­tally serves up dodgy bar­be­cued prawns and poi­sons half of his neigh­bour­hood – and his in-laws.

The Butcher is a tyran­ni­cal, Scot­tish red­head, and Szubanski revels in the role.

“Ini­tially it was writ­ten for a man, then they de­cided to make it a fe­male, and I’m kind of the go-to per­son when­ever there’s a Scot­tish ac­cent needed,” she says, “on ac­count of ( Fast For­ward char­ac­ter) wee Mary McGre­gor and my mum be­ing Scot­tish.

“So, a Scot­tish ac­cent, a red wig, and hey presto! You’ve got a char­ac­ter.”

It is Szubanski’s first film role since 2013’s God­dess with Ro­nan Keat­ing and Laura Michelle Kelly (dis­count­ing the cameo in Ben El­ton’s Three Sum­mers).

She has been con­tin­u­ing her TV work with the zany Foxtel sketch com­edy se­ries Open Slather and also last year’s Net­work Ten drama se­ries Sis­ters.

Her co-stars in The BBQ in­clude Ju­lia Zemiro ( RocKwiz), Bris­bane ac­tor John Stan­ton (a stal­wart of 1970s cop shows like Mat­lock Po­lice, Homi­cide and Di­vi­sion 4), and Ni­cholas Ham­mond (who played Friedrich von Trapp in The Sound of Mu­sic).

Also along for the ride is celebrity chef Manu Feildel, who draws on his her­itage to play the vil­lain of the piece, An­dre Mont Blanc, a cliche in leathers, tatts and slicked-back hair who is Dazza’s arch ri­val in the cook-off.

“Manu plays the ar­ro­gant French­man like he’s born to it,” Szubanski says. “He plays it up.”

While she didn’t get any knife-throw­ing train­ing, she did get some tute­lage from a pro­fes­sional butcher on chop­ping and carv­ing.

“A cou­ple of hours – not like months or any­thing,” she says, adding that her “imag­i­nary” co-stars, Jack­man and Hemsworth, could have done with some train­ing in “tough­en­ing up”.

“They shouldn’t have been such pussies.”

The BBQ opens in se­lected cin­e­mas to­day

Hi­lar­i­ous Aussie duo Shane Ja­cob­son and Magda Szubanski star in quirky new Aussie com­edy The BBQ.

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