Hi Robert! Welcome to Sydney. Tell us, what piqued your interest in the film?
‘I thought the script was so sparse and direct. It even looked different on the page, like the formatting was different. There were no commas! I thought it was so original, and my agent told me it was an offer, and I was like “Really? I never get offered stuffed like this!” And then he was like… “Oh no, I sent you the wrong email, everyone’s auditioning for this.” [laughs].’
How would you describe your character, Rey?
‘He’s very… dependent. He’s been told by everyone around him that there’s something wrong with him, that he’s kind of deficient in some way, and it’s not really established whether he is or he isn’t.’
What were some of the challenges in bringing Rey to life?
‘Mainly the costume! It sounds ridiculous but that was the most important part. As soon as I got the right pair of jeans – we went through, like, a million pairs of jeans! – And once we found the right jeans for him to plod around him, and sneakers that were slightly too big, [it all came together].’
Can definitely relate to that feeling! How important is fashion and costume is to a movie? Is it something you really focused on?
‘It’s massive for me! It’s weird though; I had such a specific look in [The Rover] – down to the colours of the t-shirt. We did a few screen tests and [when you have the right clothes] you suddenly walk different.’
What was the hardest scene to shoot? There are so many graphic, confronting moments.
‘My hardest scene – and this is probably a bit of a giveaway – but I had to have a pipe up my leg, with three guys controlling my pump, and that was probably my biggest scene in the movie. I didn’t know how complicated it would be with the set up.’
What do you think makes Australian film unique?
‘For the last few years, it suddenly became such a unique genre. I don’t know what it is! There’s something about it being so isolated – I think it feels very foreign. I think there’s a confidence in the filmmaking that doesn’t exist elsewhere. In Australia, there’s kind of vitality to it. A grim vitality.’