The Horror Honeys: Five Questions with John Jarrat!

Five Questions with John Jarrat!

A Horror Honeys Interview


Before the official release of Wolf Creek 2 on April 17, Mick Taylor himself, actor John Jarratt, spoke with the Horror Honeys! Read what Jarratt thinks about the future of Ozploitation, Australian cinema, and working with Quentin Tarantino, in just five questions...

The Horror Honeys: Many of the Honeys are huge fans of the Ozploitation genre, and Wolf Creek is credited with its revival. Where do you think Australian horror and thriller films are headed? How do you think they have changed from the early days?

John Jarratt: I think the thing that's happened is that us filmys from the 70s, 80s are now older and have more authority in Australian film. In other words, the lunatics have taken back the asylum. We lost our way in the late 80s 90s, when somehow, authoritarians like lawyers etc, some how took control simply because they knew how to raise money, but didn't have a creative bone in their bodies.

I don't know wether we've changed so much, I  think we've embraced what we're good at. Mad Max was a world leader in hard assed action and in camera stunts. There's a lot of that kinda action in Wolf Creek 2.

HH: We have heard that you chose to go "method" for your performance as Mick in the Wolf Creek films. What is that like? Are you able to form a bond with the other actors when you are inhabiting a role like Mick Taylor?

JJ: More staying within the confines of the character rather than method. It's hard to be true to your character if you drop back into John Jarratt between setups and then be told to walk over into the set and cut someones head off.

HH: How do you feel about performing in the horror genre in general? You have background as a home & garden host which is, on the surface anyway, quite different from many of the roles you've played in the last decade. Do you like exploring the darker side of human existence?

JJ: It's just another gig. I'm not interested in the next Genre film, I'm interested in working on the next good film, no matter the genre. I like exploring all sides of every character I play, I love acting, full stop.

HH: Australia has really established a solid cinematic identity in recent years. Would you like to keep working primarily in your native country or perhaps explore the possibility of making films in America?

JJ: As I said, I'm interested in the next great script that comes my way, be it from the States or China. I love Australia, best bloody country on earth. I get to make my own films here which is also very gratifying.

HH: Director Quentin Tarantino has said you are the best Australian actor. What was it like working on Django, Unchained? Do you think you'll work with him again in the future?

JJ: I'd love to work with him again. Wonderful man, genius, his brain is a complete file on cinema. Really enjoys making movies, pleasure to be on set with him. Knows exactly what he wants and how to go about it. He's larger than life, my partner Rosa described him as beautifully mad. I think that sums him up.