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Blue World Order: Five minutes with Steve Hunter

Jessica Schumann

We’ve got an impressive list of annual events and festivals that take place in and around Canberra at some pretty unique locations…There’s Hustle and Scout and The Forage out at Hangar 47, Old Bus Depot Markets in an old bus shed, not to mention our beautiful natural locations too like the Arboretum and the Botanical Gardens. So when we hear that there’s a movie in town being shot on location, we almost have to pinch ourselves to believe it. But over the past week or so that’s exactly what’s been taking place. The sci-fi action film, Blue World Order has seen Australian film royalty Jack Thompson grace the nation’s capital alongside an amazing crew including co-star Steve Hunter (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Executive Producer Matthew Reilly (international best selling Australian author) and of course, the film’s producer (and former HerCanberra writer) Sarah Mason.

We had five minutes with Steve Hunter late last week (on the back of filming scenes in Yarralumla) to find out more about his character Madcap—a crazed scientist—and what it’s like to work alongside Jack Thompson.

Jessica: What has been your impression of Canberra? Is this your first time?

Steve: I bought a bike after I last returned from New Zealand, and so I thought Canberra would be good place to learn to ride again. I brought it with me and have been whizzing around by the lake. I think I’ve been around the whole lake quite a few times now and it’s been absolutely remarkable.

I’ve friends who live here and so have been down a couple of times previously. But this would be the first time I’ve really been out and about. I’ve explored the city and lake. We’re staying over the bridge in the Parliamentary precinct so I’ve done all the bike trails. Those lake trails are pretty insane. Kingston Foreshore is like a whole other city out there and the restaurants are great too!

What’s it been like to film in Canberra?

Working in the Capital is great. There’s so much space, it’s not at all overpopulated and there are so many different locations that can be used. It’s easier to get around and you can see the people (locals) are quite excited about it. The venues where we film get excited that they’re hosting a film crew and the extras we’ve used are completely up for it too.

In Sydney there are many things you have to do to nail a location but there is so much potential here in Canberra. I keep seeing potential sets all over the place. Canberra lends itself to shoot different types of film, especially where it’s dry and there are no people around.

You were touted to be a bit of a clown and the go to funny guy from a young age. Is Madcap a funny guy?

Madcap is an interesting character, certainly not comedy. When you’ve got a sci-fi action film, like Blue World Order, it’s nice to break it up playing a character like Madcap. There is a lot of myself in him actually—he’s got quirky, comedic tenancies. I find that when I’m playing a serious role a little of myself comes out. There’s a lot of scope to play with the character and throw in my own tenancies too.

You’ve acted alongside some big Aussie names on TV including Claudia Karvan from Love My Way and Georgie Parker on All Saints. What’s it like working with Australian Royalty, Jack Thompson?

Jack is an absolute gentleman. He really is royalty. Jack, himself, has worked with a lot of great people including Clint Eastwood and Kevin Spacey. It’s been pretty cool to work with him and the type of person he is. Jack is gracious and an absolute sci-fi nut; he’s really into it. I think the great thing about Jack is that he is genuinely really excited to get involved—particularly with someone’s first film—and not just to be helpful but because he can see something in the character as well.

Working alongside Jack and in this film, have you learnt anything new about yourself as an actor?

With any film, you are always learning about yourself. Whenever you work with someone, especially someone like Jack, you take little bits and tuck them into your pocket. When Jack talks, I’ve been listening intently.

Playing Bombur in The Hobbit, I didn’t say anything and you didn’t really see his face. I always learn from big productions and how they all work; how to work in the story. Madcap plays a bigger role [than Bombur in The Hobbit]. It’s been interesting, I can have a really intense day with big dialogue and then do something completely different the next. Playing Madcap has been the biggest job in terms of the work I’ve had to do; learning to do what you need to and prepare.

Blue World Order is set for release in 2016 and tells the story of a post-apocalyptic landscape in which civilisation has crumbled in the wake of a nuclear war, and the only man immune to the virus, Jake, searches the wasted landscape for a cure for his unconscious daughter.

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Jessica Schumann

A 'rambling ranga' at heart, Jessica Schumann is a bubbly, creative social thinker who thrives on words, social media and an innate knack for sharing stories. When she finds the time to write, Jessica seeks out the beauty in change and the essence of human condition. Varied and diverse in nature, her writing delves into the enviable world of people, travel, food and culture. When you can't find her in a nook writing, just follow your nose and you’ll soon find Jessica indulging in her other passion – cooking – or curled up on the couch with a good book in hand. You can find her over at ramblingranga.com.au. More about the Author

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