By Evette Henderson
Love him or hate him, John Jarratt will be forever remembered as the “winnah” Aussie killer in Wolf Creek. In my short film Cyber Sin, I saw a totally different actor at play. A grieving father who’s daughter had suicided due to cyber bullying. Watching John prepare and perform on cue for every take was awe-inspiring. This is the 3 ways to perform like John Jarratt.
I have HUGE respect for an actor prepared to take on a murderous villain like Mick Taylor. Fun, but challenging. How do you play such a dark, remorseless character when you’re nothing of the sort in real life?
- Forfeit from judgement. Every character you play feels justified in their words and actions. When you read through the script it’s important to read it out loud in a neutral tone. By being neutral allows you to maintain an objective view and prevents you from making obvious choices. You should almost sound boring when you read it. Try recording yourself as you do it and play it back. Do this a few times and before you know it you can’t help but adding emotion each time you read it. However, the emotion being expressed by you is happening organically as you authentically draw out the essence of the character rather than endow it with your personality.
2. Outside in. Physicalised the character and his emotions first to connect to the truth of the scene.
3. Focus. John was already in character way before we were ready to shoot.