The incredibly handsome male stars of the new Aussie film “Any Questions for Ben” are also on the promo trail and we sat down with Josh Lawson, Christian Clark and Daniel Henshall one on one to discuss the film, the importance of a good soundtrack, what it takes to be a good wing-man and how Josh ‘stole’ Rachael Taylor as a memento from the set!
Brooke: What was it like working with the talented people of Working Dog â€“ Jane Kennedy, Rob Sitch and Santo Cilauro?
Daniel:Â Amazing!! Just such a fantastic experience, one I\’ll never forget.
Christian: I idolised them when I was growing up. I think if there\’s any group in the Australian television and movie industry you want to work with, it\’s definitely these guys. I was star struck around them! I\’ve been doing gritty dramas and stuff. I was scared to play that role. I didn\’t want to stuff it up, but when Rob (Sitch) looked at me and said, “I know you can do this” it all seemed to fall into place. There was an intensive rehearsal process and I think I can confidentially say that after this process everyone, not just the actors, felt we could do this film justice.
Josh: I think Christian has summed it up perfectly. The Working Dog team have a way of making you feel really relaxed. I think they\’re aware young actors like us goÂ in with a certain amount of pressure. We all loved “The Dish”, “The Castle” “The Hallowmen” – all of their previous works. To think that we could ruin something that could be up there with that body of work is a terrifying thought. BUT within hours of meeting the team, every single one of them make you feel really relaxed, but specifically Rob â€“ and as a director I think that is his greatest gift.
Brooke: The girls in the Sassi Sam office loved the music in the film and thought it was perfectly matched! How important do you think the music is in a film?
Daniel: Yes, Jane Kennedy did a great job on that! Depending on the film the lack of music or its importance can really dictate the mood of the film. It is very important in “Any Questions for Ben” because it contributes to the dynamic, the emotion the energy of the characters and ultimately you as a viewer is experiencing the whole.
Josh: I agree, they did a great job. I think a soundtrack is completely critical to a movie. I think it\’s one of the things Australian films don\’t do. For the very simple reason we don\’t have the money for soundtracks. They\’re very expensive. That being said a soundtrack gives so much to a movie, it gives it heart, gives the audience emotional direction and importantly can give the film international appeal. I\’d just like to add that any film that ends with Boston\’s “More than a Feeling” (which is included on the “Any Questions for Ben” soundtrack) is a damn good film! (Laughs!).
Brooke: Did any of you take anything from the set as a memento?
Josh: Â Yes, Rachael Taylor ((Laughs!))! I took her, stole her and kept her all to myself! Umm.. Seriously though, nothing specific. Oh wait, definitely some of the clothes and there\’s a photo of the entire cast that\’s in the film in this cool frame, I have that. Oh and the continuity costume shots, they\’re always great, so I took some of those too.
Christian: Yeah, I took some of the clothes too, Andy\’s wardrobe was cool, so I took some of those.
Brooke: Daniel your character Nick is a big cycling fan – did you take one of Nick\’s bikes?
Daniel: Â I did actually, not the specific bike that Nick rode for a majority of the screen time, but another one I did!
Brooke: You filmed in one of Australia\’s greatest cities (Melbourne), but Josh and Christian you also got to travel with them to film in Queenstown, New Zealand and Josh you went to Yemen too! How was that?
Christian: Completely crazy! Our very first day of filming in Queenstown was on the top of the mountain skiing, shortly after that Josh and I filmed bungee jumping scenes.
Brooke: Was that you? Did either of you use a double?
Josh: I wish â€“ no, it was both us! We signed life insurance and went for it!
Christian: It sure was us â€“ it was intense. In the original script, Ben (Josh\’s character) isn\’t meant to jump, after they finished filming me jump, which took a number of takes and involved me jumping a number of times, Rob (Sitch â€“ Director/Producer) said to Josh actually it would be good if you could jump too. Then the shoe was on the other foot! ((Laughs!))
Josh: Yeah, obviously as a friend you\’re there supporting your mate on the sideline and you know it\’s going to be okay, but I knew it would\’ve been terrifying up there, then I had to do it!
Then as you said we filmed in Yemen, I mean who films in Yemen? (Laughs!)
Brooke: Speaking of Yemen, Ben learns some Arabic in the film – how\’s your Arabic now Josh?
Josh: Shukran (Thank-you in Arabic). Wait that doesn\’t actually flow from what you just said. (Laughs!) As you can tell, it\’s not good at all. In fact, it\’s terrible. (Laughs!)
Brooke: How did you find filming in Yemen?
Josh: We had a former SAS solider brief and escort us over there. Obviously he had to cover all his bases, like these are the possible things that could happen (starts pretend reading a list) in the event of an explosion in your hotel room, in the event of being kidnapped, in the event of hashish being placed on your person… You\’re sitting there listening to all of this thinking, OH MY GOD! WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING??(Laughs!) Â Aren\’t we meant to be filming a comedy here guys? That being said, we couldn\’t absolutely, without a doubt, have filmed elsewhere to do the film and city justice.
Brooke: Josh, I have to ask, did you do any shopping in Yemen?
Josh: You know what Â — I did! A couple of ahh… Pashminas, typical souvenir stuff.
Brooke: Were there any on-set pranks you can share with us?
Daniel: Not so much pranks, but I certainly got a warm reception every-time I was on set in the lycra for the cycling scenes.Â My girlfriend thinks it is hilarious that I shaved my legs and wore lycra and my mates think so too. (Laughs!).
Christian: I\’m trying to think, yeah, I don\’t think there were specific pranks as such, more just good times and enjoying the process.
Josh: Oh you know who was a prankster â€“ Santo (Cilauro â€“ Producer). He\’d often walk on set during a scene with a giant prop or something. Yes, definitely Santo was doing that sort of stuff!
Daniel, I meant to say before, congratulations for your AACTA Award for Best Actor (Snowtown, where Daniel played John Bunting).
Daniel: Thank-you, that\’s so kind of you.
Brooke: How do you feel?
Daniel: So happy and proud. I\’m thrilled that the film got the recognition it deserved.
Brooke: Where\’s your award now? Somewhere special?
Daniel: It\’s umm… it\’s been used as a toilet roll holder! NO NO! (Laughs!)! It\’s next to my bed, Ralph\’s next to my bed.
Ralph? Is that what you\’ve called your award?
Daniel: Yes, he â€“ it – looks like a “Ralph”! (Laughs!).
Brooke: Why do you think it\’s important the public support the Australian film and television industry?
Daniel: I think it\’s important for Australians to support any art form that “we” produce, because we\’re trying to convey our own stories in our own unique way and we need backing and support and that ultimately comes from “bums on seats” if you will.
Brooke: Have any of you been asked to speak at your high school careers night?
Christian: I\’ve never had the pleasure (Laughs!)! I think my school would hate me to go back (Laughs!)
Josh: You know what, ironically I was asked, but I couldn\’t do it because I was filming “Any Questions for Ben”.
Brooke: Seriously? That\’s so funny!
Josh: Yeah it was a big conflict and it\’s the one time they\’ve asked!
Brooke: So will you do it eventually? If you\’re asked again?
Josh: I think “Any Questions for Ben” has kinda scared me. (Laughs!). I\’m terrified I\’ll get blank looks like Ben did. So at the moment, I\’ll say no. If they find a way to twist my arm, I could be persuaded to say maybe. (Laughs!).
Brooke: Josh, now you\’re living in the US is there anything you miss about home?
Josh:Â Christian. See I\’m one step ahead of you mate! Christian Laughs! My mates, definitely. Ahh oh you know what â€“ good coffee and bread, the bread over there is so sugary or just tasteless. It\’s one extreme or the other.
Brooke: How do you find the paparazzi in the US?
Josh: It\’s all new to me. Rach seems to take it in her stride. She seems to be the target more so than me. I find it bizarre.
Brooke: Most actors have someone they find inspirational, who\’s your inspiration?
Daniel: A lot of people. (Pauses and thinks) I find and this is no bias but Justin Kurzel (Director of Snowtown) inspirational. When he has an idea his insight and passion are unbelievable. He honestly does inspire me to be a better actor and person.
Brooke: Is there a dream role any of you would like to play?
Josh: Mine was Ben, honestly! I\’ve moved on (Laughs!)! It\’s all down-hill from here. (Laughs!)!
Christian: I\’d love to be in the Ridley Scott, Blade Runner film. I have zero chance of that (Laughs!) but a guy can dream!
Josh: Maybe upon reflection working with Woody Allen, before he stops making films, or before I stop, whichever comes first! (Laughs!).
Brooke: Christian, your character Andy is like the ultimate wing-man Â – do you have any tips on being a good wing-man?
Christian: I think, just be there for your mate, your friend and be honest.
Josh: Actually, Christian is a great wingman in real-life. I think a good wingman makes the guy, say me for example, the focus and that\’s what a good wingman does. Makes their mate feel like the most important person and look like the most important person in the room.
Christian: You just answered the question for me mate!
Josh: Am I wrong?
Christian: No (Laughs!)!
Josh: See I just turned that around!
Brooke: Now that\’s a good wingman!
Josh & Christian Exactly â€“ (Laughs!)!
Thank you all so much for your time, it\’s been a pleasure meeting you.
Josh, Christian and Daniel: Thank-you!
Category: Film & TV