Be­hind The Wilder­peo­ple’s scrap

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

"I was try­ing not to shake, I mean, I'd just met Stan Walker and I was like, 'I love him, it's Stan Walker!" Co­hen Hol­loway

Each week we talk to an artist about their best-known work. This week, ac­tor Co­hen Hol­loway re­veals how his fight scene with Sam Neill in the DOC hut in the mod­ern Kiwi clas­sic Hunt For The Wilder­peo­ple came about.

‘‘That was quite a big scene. When we first went to Auck­land, Taika loves to keep se­crets, I didn’t even know who was go­ing to play [the male lead] Hec, so we were told we had a re­hearsal that day be­fore we even started film­ing and in walks Sam Neill, and I’m just go­ing, ‘Sam Neill’s here, oh my good­ness’.

‘‘I was try­ing not to shake, I mean, I’d just met Stan Walker and I was like, ‘I love him, it’s Stan Walker!’ And Mike Minogue I know, who’s the other hunter. I said, ‘Hi Sam, I’m a big fan’ and he cracks up. We got on re­ally well, me and Sam, but I think I said some­thing re­ally cheeky about his movies, and he said to Taika, ‘‘I think Co­hen should wear shorts for most of the movie’, and Taika goes, ‘Great idea’. So I had to wear shorts for the whole movie and some­times it was -4C. So if you ever re-watch it, just feel for me.

‘‘We prac­tised all the scream­ing, there was a lot of moves, and Ju­lian (Den­ni­son) is do­ing his ‘Sh.. just got real’. We were in a hut film­ing around Auck­land and it was a re­ally tinny noise in there so we did all the film­ing and I said to Taika, ’when Sam at­tacks me I should scream re­ally high’, and he goes, ‘give it a go’, and I was like, ‘ahhh’ re­ally loud. Sadly be­cause of the hut, we couldn’t use any of the sound so we had to do a thing called ADR (au­to­mated di­a­logue re­place­ment/ ad­di­tional di­a­logue record­ing), which is ba­si­cally lip-synch­ing. It’s where you watch your­self on a big screen and you’ve got head­phones on at Park Road (post-pro­duc­tion stu­dio) and you have to mimic your­self per­fectly for those lines. It’s a lot of hard work. Most of my Ea­gle Vs Shark work is ADR as well.

‘‘I go to Taika, are we keep­ing the high scream in there? And he goes, yes. So I loved the fact that the high scream is in there. Sam is the most gen­er­ous, beau­ti­ful, awe­some New Zealand star that I’ve ever worked with, and so fit for his age. We were do­ing lots of beat­ing him up and he’s fight­ing us and he was right in there. The only thing with Ju­lian on set, is you have to mind your lan­guage, so there was a lit­tle swear jar.

‘‘I won’t tell you how much I had to put in.’’

- As told to Dani McDon­ald

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