Most filmgoers easily recognize Nathan Phillips for his lovable Australian larrikin roles within the horror genre in films such as Wolf Creek, Dying Breed, Snakes on a Plane and The Chernobyl Diaries. Most however are not as familiar with his films that showcase his amazing acting prowess and emotional range, such as the harrowing real life story of Balibo and the dramatic apocalyptic thriller These Final Hours.
I was able to catch up with Nathan recently on his impressive film career.
Michelle: Personally I found These Final Hours quite an emotionally powerful film, why don’t more people seem to appreciate that film?
Nathan: It was frustrating to not have These Final Hours recognized by our own cinema lovers and AACTA, with no nominations and poor box office return after Village Roadshow heavily supported it . Especially after it’s Cannes successful screening and obvious talent on screen and behind the camera, but since (the film) Australian Rules and the roller coaster ride back and forth from L.A I have learnt the success of a film is much like life and very unpredictable.
Michelle: What is it like being an actor in Australia, trying to get somewhere on the international scene?
Nathan: I was picked up by my current manager since Australian Rules and have been at the grass roots with my agent in Oz (Australia) since Neighbours and had mixed experiences with the art and business of the filmmaking process as much as with my love life. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and hopefully wiser, right? Once bitten twice shy they say, but I still remain aware of the fact there is more good than bad in the universe parallel to the film set. Otherwise why get out of bed wherever I may rest on this amazing planet from my tent, my van, my place in Venice California or in Victoria, Australia?
I am privileged to have traveled and call many places home thus far and continue to be inspired by life, people, stories and the human condition. Hence I will keep striving to be the best person and ultimately artist during my rotations around the sun. Like Balibo , Wolf Creek, West, One Perfect Day, The Bridge, Hunters and basically every film I do, it has been a gift of experience and learning more about the craft. I have been writing, producing and directing more, as I love the collaborative experience. Right now I am about to be the lead in and produce Blood Vessel in Melbourne next month with Justin Dix. I’m very excited about it. Blood Vessel is about vampires during World War II on a warship, which we will be filming on an actual warship in Williamstown.
Michelle: Take Away with Stephen Curry and Vince Colosimo was one of your earlier films. What was that like working with two amazing funny men? And with Curry currently impressively being seen in Ben Young’s popular release Hounds of Love, is there any advice for him regarding the horror genre itself as an actor?
Nathan: Stephen Curry is a giant amongst most players , a big heart that matches his smile and has such impeccable comedic timing. I am sure, as with his dramatic performances thus far, he will kick goals in whatever he dabbled in.
Nathan also provided some further information on the pre production of Justin Dix’s (director of Crawlspace, and prosthetic artist for The Babadook) Blood Vessel.
Dix is the creative director of Australian effects company Wicked of Oz Studios (which has been operating for ten years and is based in Williamstown in Victoria, Australia). In Williamstown the H.M.A.S Castlemaine is docked and will be used for the primary filming location during the creation of Blood Vessel during 2018.
Written by Justin Dix and Jordan Prosser, Blood Vessel will tell the story of a lift raft adrift at sea, with the survivors of a torpedoed hospital ship. With no food, water or shelter all seems lost. That is until an abandoned German minesweeper drifts ominously towards them, giving them one last chance at survival.