Interview : Lachy Hulme


The star of “Macbeth”

Lachy Hulme is probably best known for his roles in the films “Let’s Get Skase” and “The Matrix Revolutions”. Its his latest role though, that of Macduff in “Macbeth”, that proved the most challenging – and rewarding. CLINT MORRIS talks to the towering Melbournian about the role, and also rumours that he was up for the role of The Joker in the Bat-sequel, “The Dark Knight”.

How did you get involved in the production?
Well, it was one of those projects that everyone knew was coming, that every actor was acutely aware of. I was lucky enough to get a phone call from Geoffrey Wright very early on, before he had even started casting. We met for a beer, and talked about the project, and the role of Macduff in particular, and Geoff offered me the part. He had seen “Four Jacks,” a movie I did a few years ago, and that seemed to do the trick, I guess, in terms of getting me the gig in “Macbeth.” Thank God I didn’t have to audition for it, because I probably would’ve blown it!

What research did you do, if any?
Basically, I just sat down with the screenplay and the original text, side by side, and got comfortable with the changes that Victoria [Hill] and Geoff had made. Then I did my own prep, and basically spent a lot of time with the other actors, just talking about what our approach would be, making sure that we were all on the same page.

Tell me about some of the locations you used in Melbourne
Basically any place in Melbourne where you freeze your ass off in the dead of winter, we used.

Was it hard speaking in the Shakespearen tongue?
Well, fortunately for me, Macduff is a man of few words. When he talks, it means something, it drives the story forward. He doesn’t waste a word. So the trick with a role like that is to give him life when he’s not speaking.

Macbeth is another good film for the Australian Film Industry. Do you think these recent films are an indication that it’s a lot healthier than it use to be?
Healthy? No. I think it needs constant and loving care if we’re going to keep it alive.

Tell us about your role in the forthcoming, “Boytown”.
Ha! Ah, yes. Marty Boomstein. He’s kind of like a cross between Lex Luthor and Jabba the Hutt, this animal who manages the fortunes of the band. I packed on about 20kg for the role, shaved my hairline back, really just went the whole hog for that role. It was great fun, and another great opportunity to work with the Molloy boys, whom also worked on “Macbeth.”

You’re a huge fan of the Internet, in particular film websites. Do you believe a film like “Macbeth” can be a hit, if the net gets behind it?
The Internet influence on movies is huge, just huge. I mean, a good review on a site, for example, reaches more people than anything a review in the papers could ever reach.

Speaking of, you were one of the favourites for the role of The Joker in the next “Batman’ movie. Did you audition for the role?
You see? That’s a perfect example of the power of the Internet, in terms of all the speculation surrounding me and that role. In regards to auditioning, no. As far as I know, no one auditioned, not even Heath, who I think will be fantastic.

How was the Toronto Film Festival?
We just got back yesterday, and it was a blast. “Macbeth” got a huge response, which is great, obviously. I actually made my first film there 10 years ago, a movie I wrote called “Men With Guns,” so it was nice to go back.

MACBETH commences on Thursday