Lachy Hulme Any Questions for Ben? Interview

Lachy Hulme Any Questions for Ben? Interview

Lachy Hulme Any Questions for Ben? Interview

Question: How would you describe your character in the film?

Lachy Hulme: Sam is the kind of guy, that after you've had a conversation with him, you feel like you've been frisked. He is a good sort with a lovely soul but a good observer not a good listener.

The character of Sam was written for me. Josh Lawson, David James (Malcolm, the boss) and my character was written for us. They also had Felicity Ward (Em) in mind and the other roles started to fill out, naturally.

There is an old rule in acting - learn your lines but if you can think like the character you can play the character.

My birthday is on April Fools Day and Rob, Jane Sitch and their beautiful five babies were at Surfers Paradise for their holidays and I got an email image of the kids holding a sign that said 'Happy Birthday Lachy' and at the bottom it said 'We've got something for you, later in the year'.

Question: Can you talk about driving the Ferraris in the film?

Lachy Hulme: Well I don't have my drivers licence, basically they had written the role of Sam for me, I have worked with Working Dog and Rob Sitch a lot before and he said "Listen, you've got to drive this Ferrari" and I replied "Don't be stupid Rob, just put the car on a tray and shoot it that way" he said that was fine.

Rob Sitch rings back a couple of hours later and says "I've measured the distance between the base of the Ferrari and the ground and we cannot actually put it on a trolley, it won't work. So you need to get your licence." We started shooting in a month, there was no way I could get my drivers licence in a month and he asked me to at least get my L plates and then they'd take care of the rest. Rob Sitch organised some special dispensation from the government so that I could drive the Ferrari without an L plate.

I have been in this movie business for twenty years and I have never been more terrified than when I went and sat for my L Plate test for this movie. I was terrified because I knew that Rob Sitch and all the team were waiting back at the office to hear if I passed or failed. I passed with flying colours and the next day I was travelling at 240 kilometers per hour down Flinders Street in a Ferrari.

When you see the Ferrari fishtail in the film, that's me! Rob Sitch told me not to go crazy and I had Josh Lawson sitting in the car next to me and I turned to him and said "watch this" and I pumped it in third gear and it fishtailed and you hear Josh Lawson go "woah woah don't" and you hear me say "it's good for you"! Working Dog don't loop material, everything that was recorded on the day, is in the film.

Question: What do you hope people take away from the film?

Lachy Hulme: Obviously the film is meant to be a piece of entertainment and it's meant to make you smile and laugh. There are so many beautiful moments of nuance and a lot of great jokes in the film. I hope people like what I did in the film (because I am an egomaniac) but I hope people have a good time at the movies.

I love working with Working Dog, they're my family and I hope people really enjoy what they have produced because it is a big departure for them - it's not a story about battlers or underdogs, it's about a guy who has everything you could ever possibly want but realises there is more than this superficial world that he is in. No matter how much you think you've got, there is always more.

The film is about setting a mark in life and asking 'what type of person, do I want to be'?

Question: What was the most memorable moment, for you, whilst filming?

Lachy Hulme: It's a good question; obviously driving the Ferrari is up there. I think that the most memorable moment, for any actor, is your first day on any film. My first day on the film is the scene in Sam's office, at his house, during the Christening and that's what I really remember. The joy of being amongst the Working Dog crew again and having Rob Sitch lean over, for a chat, before a take is memorable too.

Question: Can you talk about the experience of working with Rob Sitch?

Lachy Hulme: Rob Sitch directs every actor differently, but he is very efficient. With me it is very quick and to the point because Rob Sitch often lets me do what I want to do and if I have a problem I will turn to him and say 'what should I do here' and he'll go bang there's your answer and we'll do a take. I can't say what his like with every actor, only with me.

We have worked together on The Hollowmen and it's very quick and efficient with me, we are often done by the second take and we may do a third differently or shoot one with a British accent for the gag reel (laughing)!

Rob Sitch would have been very encouraging with Flick (Felicity Ward) because it's her first movie so she needs the support. With me, I've done more movies than Rob Sitch and he'll just say "Lach tighten that bit up there" and often he won't even have to say what bit, I know exactly and we'll do another one.

Question: Have you even experienced a quarter life crisis?

Lachy Hulme: No, I've never had that at all because I have wanted to be an actor since I was 7 years old and I have been professionally acting since I was 19 years old.

Brian Nakervis, from Rock Wiz, was my 3rd Grade Primary School teacher and he is now hosting a show for Working Dog called Pictures of You, which will be on television in 2012. Brian Nakervis directed the first play I ever did (I had to write my own opening line of dialogue, for the play), when I was 7 years old and when I was 13 years old I started watching films like The Godfather and started thinking that is cool, that is what I want to do! Oh and it's a good way to meet chicks too (laughing).

I've never had any crisis and I never will because I know what I'm doing and I love what I do, I don't have to question what I want to do.

Question: Melbourne is a character of the film, did you find you travelled to places you have never been before, in Melbourne?

Lachy Hulme: No, not at all. Melbourne is my town! They shot in the Rooftop Cinemas and two storeys down from the rooftop is Ben's apartment from the film and five years ago I went to that apartment for a dinner party!

It is wonderful because with Working Dog visually they don't care - if you look at Hollowmen you'll see that visually the idea is to give it a laissez-faire approach. With Any Questions For Ben visually they put a gloss and aura over the city of Melbourne because it is a character. That is also part of the point 'look at this beautiful city that you are in Ben, and you still have a problem? Look at these beautiful women, and you still have a problem? What is going on with you?'

The film was shot by Stefan Duscio and his first gig as a cinematographer was an assistant to Santo Cilauro in Hollowmen.

Question: What other ideas did you bring to the film?

Lachy Hulme: Mad Max 2, which screens at the Rooftop Cinemas, was my idea actually. I think Mad Max 2 is cooler than number Mad Max 1; Mad Max 1 is a horror film and one of the scariest movies! Mad Max 2 is one of the best adventure films, of all time. I originally suggested Gallipoli for the screened film but that wasn't the tone they were after for a romantic comedy.

I'm not in that scene but they had to get the rights from Mel Gibson and George Miller (the great director behind the film), for ten seconds of film.

Question: What are you working on at the moment?

Lachy Hulme: I am currently filming season three of Offspring and I have Beaconsfield, the mini-series about the trapped minors coming out on channel 9 and I am about to play Kerry Packer in a mini-series about Kerry Packer's life.

I am always working, I have to pay rent (laughing)!

Question: How was the premier?

Lachy Hulme: Great! I took my mum as my date, she loved the film. I've done fifteen movies and this is the first time she's said she loved it. She said that "the blending of comedy, romance and looking at Melbourne was great" her favourite character was Nick (Daniel Henshall). She didn't mention me, she didn't need too (smiling). Mum's 80 years old and she is taking her friends to see it on opening day.

Question: Had you worked with any of the cast previously?

Lachy Hulme: Yes, I have known Josh Lawson for six years. Josh Lawson's first ever film role was in a movie called Boy Town with Glenn Robbins, Mick Molloy and myself. The role that Josh Lawson played was a role that I said no to and they consequently cast me in a much bigger role and that's how Josh Lawson and I met. Josh Lawson is like a little brother to me in a sense because we have known each other for so long. Stepping in, in the film, and being able to grab him by the face and throw him around a little bit - I've been doing that for five or six years!

There are a lot of connections between the cast and the crew. Socially Josh Lawson and I are close friends as well, to play his mentor required no acting - it's me telling Josh Lawson as Ben to 'shut-up'! I am very proud that his gone from a small part, that I said no to, to the star of a movie where I'm the support actor - it's great, he deserves it! Josh Lawson has a great work ethic and he is a decent guy who is funny, his probably one of the funniest guys I know!

Question: How is it on set with a cast full of funny people?

Lachy Hulme: We're always pissing ourselves! I have a rule with work and I do it on every project I am on, every single day, we are at work, we are going to have one huge laugh about something whether it's picking on someone or a fart joke! You have to have a good time when filming, if you're not having a good time you might as well be digging ditches for a living because that is hard work, making movies isn't hard work. Acting is a great job, anyone who claims they were put through the ringer on a job should quit!

If you do the hard work at home, when you get to the set you can have fun.

Any Questions for Ben?

Cast: Josh Lawson, Rachael Taylor, Daniel Henshall, Christian Clark, Felicity Ward
Director: Rob Sitch
Genre: Comedy
Rated: M

Synopsis: For 27-year-old Ben (Josh Lawson), life couldn't be better. A well paid job, friends, parties, girls and nothing to tie him down. But when he is invited back to his old school to join several other ex-students including Alex (Rachael Taylor) and Jim (Ed Kavalee) in talking about their personal achievements, something goes wrong.

Ben is the only speaker not to be asked a question by the school kids. This triggers a year of soul searching and looking for answers in all the wrong places. From his best friend Andy (Christian Clark) whose solution is that they both take another holiday, to his mentor Sam (Lachy Hulme) who loans him a sports car in the belief that there's nothing like excessive speed to resolve emotional turmoil.

Not even Ben's father (Rob Carlton) or friends Nick (Daniel Henshall) and Em (Felicity Ward) can offer much in the way of meaningful guidance. Of course, it's not easy seeking enlightenment in nightclubs, or on the ski fields of New Zealand, and when you start dating a Russian tennis star things can get really complicated.

As the poster boy for a generation desperate to tick every box, Ben begins to suspect that the meaning of life may well reside in the things he's already doing and a girl he used to know.

Release Date: February 9th, 2012


Christian Clark and Josh Lawson Any Questions for Ben? Interview:
Felicity Ward and Daniel Henshall Any Questions for Ben? Interview:
Lachy Hulme Any Questions for Ben? Interview:

Any Questions For Ben? Cast and Crew Notes:
Any Questions For Ben?

Interview by Brooke Hunter