September 26, 2011

Our hunt is just about over for the Australian premiere of 'The Hunter'.

Willem Dafoe - Photography Eva Rinaldi

Sydney might not be home to the Tasmanian Devil, but it's hard to argue with the choice of Dendy Opera Quays being the venue for tonight's Aussie premiere.

Willem Dafoe was most generous in his time with Australian press.

Defoe portrays a mercenary on the trail of the now extinct Tasmanian Tiger.

"It's true," Dafoe concedes in his instantly recognisable, gravelly voice over the phone from his home in Rome. "And that's not a bad thing."

The actor was wrapt to play the lead part of Martin in The Hunter, based on Julia Leigh's acclaimed novel of the same title.

The rising star actor told our friends at News Limited "First of all I didn't know it was freezing. But the fact that we were going to shoot in Tasmania was very important. Clearly you had this very good story set against this epic backdrop and that appealed to me not only for the adventure personally but it's also nice to find a movie that can do the things movies do best, something that television can't do for example. 

"I liked the fact that it was the central character with a slow transformation and that you got to spend a lot of time with him in the bush."

"The landscape is very tough and the weather is very tough but it really rooted what we were doing. One day it would be beautiful and sunny and the next day it would be snowing and freezing cold. And button grass - unless you have walked through a field of button grass you have no idea how difficult it is."

Dafoe advised he loves to travel the world to make motion pictures, thinking that exposure to different locations and new things helps makes actors "reconsider your condition and the condition of the world". He loved that Tasmania was so faraway from the movies business and was as "a magical place to film".

"You can really concentrate on what you are doing and the further you get away from the world, then that becomes the only world," he says. "Because it is so far away from everything it has a special charm."

The Hunter also stars Frances O'Connor and Sam Neill, with whom Dafoe has worked before.

Be sure to watch out for the ongoing struggle between loggers and tree huggers.

Dafoe has worked with some huge names in the modern era of movie making. Try on for size David Lynch (Wild At Heart), Martin Scorsese (The Last Temptation of Christ), Oliver Stone (Platoon) and Sam Raimi (Spider-Man). The Hunter was directed by Daniel Nettheim, in his first feature, but Dafoe says he enjoyed the opportunity to lend his considerable expertise.

"Let's face it," he says, "Martin Scorsese and David Lynch had to start somewhere. Also you are afforded a sense of collaboration. It's always difficult to adapt a very strong piece of literature and since you spend so much time with this character it was important to really suit him to me. 

"So there was lots of back and forth and working to make it a good fit. After I met Daniel I knew he was very bright and knew he was very open to working with me in that way."

Tasmania may be home for his current flick, but next stop is Mars for the rising star, thanks to Disney. Dafoe will play Tars Tarkas, a six-limbed, green Martian warrior.

For now, its apparent that Dafoe has found his place in the motion picture universe, and insiders tip he is an actor expected to go a long way, with his name up for some Hollywood awards later this year.

The Hunter opens Australia on Thursday.


Willem Dafoe - Martin David
Sam Neill - Jack Mindy
Frances O’Connor - Lucy Armstrong
Sullivan Stapleton
Dan Wyllie
Callan Mulvey
Jacek Koman
Morgana Davies - Sass Armstrong
John Brumpton - Publican
Maia Thomas - Shakti
Jamie Timony - Free
Dan Spielman - Simon
Finn Woodlock - Bike Armstrong

Director: Daniel Nettheim
Writers: Julia Leigh (novel), Wain Fimeri (original adaptation)

Frances O'Connor - Photography Eva Rinaldi

Finn Woodlock and Morgana Davis Photography Eva Rinaldi


The Hunter

Dendy Opera Quays


Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

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