Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Nathan Phillips, lead actor of Wolf Creek (2005), which is Now Available on Blu-ray thanks to Via Vision Entertainment.
Are you a lover of horror films in general? If so, what are some of your favourites?
I love comedy horrors, mostly like the Scream franchise, Attack the Block, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland; the classics that I rewatch are Shadow of a Vampire, 28 Days Later and, The Shining and EvilDead.
What scares you the most/What is your biggest fear?
What scares me the most are clowns, thanks to watching Stephen King’s IT when I was way too young. And I fear the most is punching out a clown by accident one day haha.
How does it feel knowing you played a significant role in this film that would later become the highest-grossing R 18+ Rated film in Australian History and one of Quentin Tarantino’s favourite horror movies?
Love Tarantino and his canon of work, especially From Dusk Till Dawn so very honoured he enjoyed our hard work, the talented mob behind Wolf Creek and the continued success through Greg Mclean and the darling man John Jarrett.
Before Wolf Creek, you were well-known in Australia for your comedic and dramatic work. Was this your first experience working in horror, and how did you feel shifting from comedy and drama into horror?
From Australian Rules based on a true story and the book Deadly Unna to comedies like Take Away, You and Your Stupid Mate and Under the Radar, it was a real leap into some dark places to find the fear and helplessness and staying based in that terrifying space for a few weeks was draining mentally and physically due to the nightshoots the cold and John Jarrett’s body odour as he didn’t shower ha ha jest!
Did you have any inspiration you used for playing the character of Ben?
At the time, the actual Falconio case was prevalent, and so in the case of the Milat and Murdock murders, we had some documents from the cases of first-hand accounts of those that had encountered Milat and survived! It was surreal to read the real, if that makes sense, and being a backpacker previously overseas, it was close to home in the choices and trust I placed in strangers around the USA and South America.
What was your biggest challenge starring in Wolf Creek?
My biggest challenge in Wolf Creek was Wolf Creek ha ha nah we had an amazing crew and cast, which is why it did so well; obviously, Greg McLean loved the genre he penned, produced and directed, so we just followed him into his vision; it’s not based on a actual true story but being based on real events was the head trip sometimes! I would rather meet my maker surfing or in my sleep in old age!
What was it like working with the director Greg McLean in his first feature film? Did Greg allow you to give your opinion or add dialogue on set, or did he run a firm ship from start to finish?
Yes Greg McLean allowed us to improvise and leap from the page and adlib, and the talented DP Will Gibson, rest in peace, had done a lot of documentaries before, so he would keep filming even after the cut and he caught some magic that made the Final Cut!
What was it like working with actor John Jarratt aka Mick Taylor? According to IMDb, John remained in character between takes! Were you ever creeped out by his performance?
Yeah, J.J was very focused and never ate with us or hung out; he drove himself to the locations till the very end, so it really helped our awkwardness and tension for us all! He didn’t shower either, haha, well, maybe a few times, but he was all in; that was evident from the rehearsals; he is a legend of a bloke.
I noticed on IMDb that you’ve got several projects coming up! Is there anything you can reveal here? When will Australia see you again on-screen?
Yes, I have Kid Snow, a wonderful dramatic boxing in the Jimmy Shaman style tents Australian story with plenty of top-notch actors from here and O.S. with Paul Goldman, who I did Australian Rules with, coming out. Kane is an Aussie gangster movie with Jake Ryan, Jeremy Lindsy Taylor, and many more legends. And a psychological thriller, I play a cop with PTSD, and my wife and I get away, and it goes pear-shaped very quickly. I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out; it’s called 13 Summers, which I hope people will enjoy; it was a page, turner of a script and a small cast of wonderful actors, so it looks promising. And about to start a comedy gangster high-octane action movie with Jake Ryan called Homeward next month.
Here is a fun random fact as we come to a wrap-up. I once took my (then) girlfriend on a first date to see you in an entertaining film, Snakes on a Plane. She would later become my wife, and we are still married today! So, I would like to say a big thank you for being part of our romantic journey and a massive thank you for your time as we reflected on all things Wolf Creek (2005). Wolf Creek is Now Available on Blu-ray, thanks to Via Vision Entertainment.
And thanks for the snakes on a plane love that; it sure was a funny chapter in my film career very thankful to have worked with great people and made people laugh or cry or run out of the theatre and never go hitchhiking ha ha ha. Hopefully, we can do a Wolf Creek where I come back and get revenge haha.
A big thank you to Nathan Phillips for making himself available to chat about Wolf Creek! For more information on Wolf Creek (2005), check out the link from Via Vision Entertainment: https://viavision.com.au/shop/wolf-creek-standard-edition-blu-ray-theatrical-unrated-cuts/