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Bryan Brown - Dear Claudia
by Dov Kornits

In a recent FILMINK interview with Paul McGuigan, the Scottish director of The Acid House, he talked about how he grew up sneaking on the telly to watch breast-resplendant Australian Bryan Brown movies. Why is Bryan such a favourite? Quite simply, the man is the ultimate icon of Aussie larrikin-cool. Perhaps the only actor to have ever stolen the screen from Tom Cruise, he is a man who could down half a case of lager, pick three winners at the horse races, tune a stationwagon, and make it home for dinner. In his new film, Dear Claudia, he finds himself playing a new role - the sexually vulnerable, somewhat inhibited older man.

Did you do Dear Claudia because it had commercial prospects?
"No, I didn't do it for that reason at all. I just read the story and liked it. That simple. I just liked the two people. They reminded me how hard life is for everybody. How everyone wants to have someone they can share it with. A bit of guidance, a bit of help, and around it was a very commercial way of telling that story. A beautiful island, some funny incidents, the silliness of a bloke having his dick bitten and having 'it' bandaged. You know, if I'm reading this and chuckling and liking these people, and go "I wish I was on that island today", then that's a good thing."

Why don't Australians make such commercial films?
"You want people to go to your movie, but they're usually hard to do in this country. Usually they involve masses of special effects. We don't make special effects movies because we don't have the budgets, but if you can find something in a story that has humour and elements that don't cost you a fortune, those are our best chances of making a commercial success."

How was working with Aleksandra Vujcic?
"She's a great dame. She surprises you. She has wonderful instincts for acting. You had to have a girl who had a certain sexual European sophistication. You needed that because I'm certainly not her age. You can't have it like a dirty old man jumping on her."

What was with the cock-in-a-sock scene?
"Well the long and the short of it is, you read the script, and it's all funny and then you think "how are we gonna pull this off?" The poor girl doing make-up has got things like dildos attached to underpants and the like. I'm worried this is going to give me a bulge for the whole movie, it's going to look tacky, and everyone was fretting. You don't want people going "ha ha ha, he got bitten on his dick...that's a good joke, ha ha ha." So I thought there's only one answer for this - So I just bandaged it myself."

That must have been fun...
"Well, I realised I can't bandage my dick up and have my balls hanging out, so I had to bandage the whole business."

You didn't add any extra layers of bandaging?
"Someone said "what is it, a rolling pin, you've got down there?" Nah, just one layer of bandages."

Have you made any other movies since?
"I did Two Hands which was just in Sundance and comes out in July. It's very entertaining. There's a whole other side to that one that the critics are gonna love. I'm not racing out to do anything. I've got to get itchy to do a new project."

When you're on a set, do you have more input than a lot of actors?
"I've always had input in films. It's impossible not to. They go, "go and stand there and say your lines", and I say "well, it's a shithouse line." Half the fun of doing what we do is figuring out how to tell the story well."

link directly to this feature at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=25
originally posted: 05/09/99 13:10:45
last updated: 06/01/99 03:11:47
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