Tara Reid was flustered when Cinema Australia spoke to her during a recent press junket for her new Australian film Charlie’s Farm directed by one of the countries hottest new talents, Chris Sun.
She told us, “Everything’s going great. We’re busy, busy, busy. We did about twenty different things yesterday after landing the day before. I’ve slept about two hours.”
Despite the famous actress’s busy schedule she was a complete joy to chat with and hinted that it may not be the last time we see her in an Australian film.
It sounds like a pretty full on junket. Are you happy to be doing all of this for Charlie’s Farm?
Yeah it’s worth it. The movies really great and I think your audience will really like it. It’s a great horror film and the director Chris Sun is amazing. Not only did he direct it he also wrote it. There are very few directors that make shit happen and Chris is definitely one of those directors. It was an absolute pleasure and an honour to work with him and you’ll be hearing much more of him in the future. He’ll be the next Stephen King or Wes Craven.
That’s a massive compliment.
He really has it, I promise. And I’ve worked with some of the best directors including the Coen Brothers.
You’re credited as the main character of Charlie’s Farm. Do you feel a lot of pressure being the main drawcard for a film?
Not at all. This is like my 46th movie so I’m so used to it. I know what I’m doing. I’ve been acting since I was seven so it’s something I’m definitely used to.
Chris told us earlier in the year that you were an absolute pleasure to direct but there were some discrepancies at times because some of the dialogue in Charlie’s Farm was too ‘Australian’. Can you remember some of the things you were having trouble with?
[Laughs]. Yeah we definitely had to change some of the dialogue up. Sometimes what he wrote would make sense for the Australian actors but I play an American and it didn’t make sense to me. I would say to Chris, ‘I can’t say this. I’m an American and I don’t even know what this means”. We would often go back and forth and change the dialogue and we would all laugh. That was one of our things – we would change the dialogue together and it was just great.
(At this point director Chris Sun yells out to Cinema Australia that some of the dialogue was too Ocker).
That was Chris right there. He said the dialogue was too Ocker.
Do you know the term Ocker?
No. What does Ocker mean?
It means really Australian
Oh yeah, it was way too Australian. Too Aussie, too Aussie.
Nathan Jones is a big guy and he’s not pretty to look at when he’s made up as Charlie. Did you get to know Nathan a bit before seeing him for the first time as Charlie?
Man, Nathan is a really nice guy. Every day I would see him after going through like four hours of make-up. He’s a real trooper and the special effects on Nathan are unbelievable. When I saw him for the first time he was probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen in my life. When you have a seven foot man, whose faster and stronger than you chasing you, it’s pretty scary. Anyone in the world would be scared. Actually I wasn’t acting during those scenes, that was all real life. [Laughs].
Nathan does an amazing job in the film and he’s probably one of the nicest guys you will ever meet in real life.
And how did you get along with some of the other cast members?
They were all great. Allira (Jones) is amazing and I think she is the next big up and coming actress and you’ll be hearing a lot more of her.
Because of budget limitation you had to do all of your stunts yourself. Were there moments where you felt like you really needed one or did you handle it all ok?
There were a few times when I thought I should’t be doing the stunts and that I would never, ever, ever have attempted to do them in my life but of coarse Chris got his way and got me to do things that I would never usually do. [Laughs]. At the end of the day we pulled it together without me dying which was a miracle.
You fell ill during filming, right? Was it anything serious?
Well one day the whole crew got food poisoning. We don’t really know what caused it, I think it was chicken. [Laughs].
How familiar are you with Australian cinema. Do you have any favourites?
You know what, I like all kinds of movies from all kinds of countries. I’m just such a massive fan of film in general. I’ve never seen Wolf Creek though. Everyone keeps asking me about that. I’m going to download it for the plane ride home.
Can you see yourself returning to Australia for another film or to work with Chris again at some stage?Absolutely. Yes. It won’t be the last time I work with Chris and we’ll be doing something together soon I’m sure. Chris is a passionate guy. He loves his movies. He doesn’t only direct his films, he also writes them. He’s so particular with the details of his film, he knows all the shots he wants and he makes sure he gets them. He already has all the processes planed out and it’s such a relief to work with someone like that.
You worked with a whole bunch of Aussie’s making Charlie’s Farm. What impression of Australia and Australian’s have you been left with?
Australia has some great actors and some incredibly talented crew. I think everyone involved in the film did a great job and it was a pleasure to work with everyone. Most of the cast and crew were new to filmmaking and the nicest thing about everyone was that they were willing to learn. There was certain things with angles, shots and lines that you don’t expect everyone to know everything about so it was nice to be a teacher with them and they were great about it. We all listened to each other and in the end we’ve made such a great film.
Charlie’s Farm is out now. Visit http://www.charliesfarm.com.au for session details.