NASH FINALLY GETS HIS MAN
Like a dog with a bone, Nash Edgerton has been trying to get Foxtel series Mr Inbetween made for over a decade. “If I say I’m going to do something I’m pretty determined, no matter how long it takes,” he says.
The multi-talented writer/ r/ director/actor/stuntman rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, directing Charlize Theron, Thandie Newton and his younger brother Joel in the acclaimed black comedy Gringo earlier this year.
But his perseverance with h this distinctly Aussie project, , starring an almost-unknown n local, has finally paid off. And he’s hugely relieved audiences will finally see the hitman drama series, based on Australian film The Magician.
Edgerton made the passion project with Scott Ryan, who first submitted The Magician as a short film to the St Kilda Film Festival in 2004.
“Scott had written, directed and starred in it. It was like a fake documentary about a hitman. Super lowbudget. I thought it was great,” Edgerton recalls. “I met him after the screening and asked him for a copy of it because I thought my brother would really enjoy it as well.”
Edgerton helped Ryan re-edit a feature-length version of the film which enjoyed critical success. Still, Ryan felt it could the idea could be further developed into a TV series and enlisted Edgerton’s help to make it happen.
It was a long, slow road to get the series made, mainly because Edgerton refused to cast anyone but Ryan in the lead role.
“We tried to get the show up and we came close a few times but kept hitting dead ends. At some point we realised we’d have more chance of getting it made if I directed. Any chance I had where I thought people would be into it, in LA and Australia, I’d show them the film and the script. I held out until my cachet as a director had risen enough that someone would let me cast Scott in the show.
“The whole reason I got involved with the show is that I think he is a talented actor and writer. I wanted to direct him. I wasn’t interested in it unless he got to play the character. He was the right person to play it as far as I was concerned.”
Ryan wasn’t the only tricky casting decision. Once the project was under way, Edgerton began the search for a young girl to play hitman Ray’s daughter.
He was surprised to find the perfect choice right under his nose: his stepdaughter, Chika Yasumura. The suggestion came from his wife, Carla Ruffino, after Edgerton had auditioned 50odd youngsters for the role.
“My wife suggested, ‘Why do don’t you try Chika out?’,” he re recalls. “I said, ‘Well, because if she’s no good I’m not going to cast her’. I didn’t go to the a audition. I let my wife take her in. I called afterwards and said ‘How did she do?’ and they said, ‘She’s pretty awesome’.”
The gamble paid off and b became “one of the best di directing experiences” E Edgerton has ever had.
“It was the most scared I’v I’ve been directing anybody because I wanted it to be a good experience for her and I wanted her to be good in the show and I didn’t want people to think I’d cast her because she’s my kid,” he says.
His foray into the world of TV hasn’t kept Edgerton from serving as executive producer and stunt co-ordinator for brother Joel’s upcoming film Boy Erased, in which the son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a churchsupported gay conversion program.
As well as a role for Joel, Boy Erased brings two of Australia’s biggest exports, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, together on the big screen for the first time.
“It’s a beautiful film,” says Edgerton. “It’s a special film and it’s awesome to see Nicole and Russell on the screen together for the first time. ” MR INBETWEEN, SHOWCASE, TOMORROW 8.30PM; BOY ERASED OPENS NOVEMBER 8
“It was the most scared I’ve been directing anybody
Chika Yasumura and Scott Ryan in Mr Inbetween and (below) director Nash Edgerton. Main picture: Mark Rogers