It Will Be a Stretch to Play a Communist but He's Incredible; EXCLUSIVE: ROBERT CARLYLE ON HIS FILM RETURN TO OZ

The Mirror (London, England), November 2, 2002 | Go to article overview

It Will Be a Stretch to Play a Communist but He's Incredible; EXCLUSIVE: ROBERT CARLYLE ON HIS FILM RETURN TO OZ


FULL Monty star Robert Carlyle has harboured a long-time ambition to make a movie in Australia.

Now he is to make his second film there in just over a year. And for the second time he will be playing a crusader trying to help the Aborigines.

Carlyle has signed on to play Melbourne author and political activist Frank Hardy in a new movie.

Called The Unlucky Australians, the film will concentrate on Hardy's journey to Wave Hill in the Northern Territory, where he helped the Gurindji Aboriginal tribe in its struggle for better working conditions and land rights.

Glasgow-born Carlyle knows it will be a huge challenge for him to play Hardy, a well-known Communist in Australia, who was renowned for his 1950 book Power Without Glory.

He said: "It'll be a stretch for me to play Frank but I think I can do a good job. He was an incredible guy.

"I'm drawn to the film because I've always been intrigued by Aboriginal culture.

"And obviously the way they've been treated over the years - it isn't good."

The movie about Hardy, who died of a heart attack in 1994 at the age of 76, will be produced by his son Alan.

IRONICALLY, Carlyle's first Australian film, Black and White, had its premiere in Adelaide last week.

The movie is based on an infamous Australian court case about a man called Rupert Max Stuart, an Aborigine who was wrongly jailed for the rape and murder of a nine-year-old white girl in the South Australian town of Ceduna in 1958.

Carlyle plays lawyer David O'Sullivan, who defended Max Stuart, believing he was falsely arrested and charged with the crime.

Max Stuart was sentenced to hang but public pressure forced the government to commute the sentence to life imprisonment and call a royal commission into the incident.

Carlyle said: "I received the script three years ago and the guys had been trying to piece together the finance to get it made. It's always difficult to finance a film like this." He was intrigued and did research on the story and trial. He went on: "It obviously was a big event at the time.

"Of course, it was a fascinating case and what looked to be an awful miscarriage of justice.

"I remembered as a kid seeing Walkabout. It was magical and I was entranced by it. I always wanted to do an Australian film."

Carlyle told Adelaide's Advertiser newspaper in a telephone interview from his home in Glasgow: "When you guys do it, you do it really well, slightly off centre.

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It Will Be a Stretch to Play a Communist but He's Incredible; EXCLUSIVE: ROBERT CARLYLE ON HIS FILM RETURN TO OZ
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