In 2013, I came across a wonderful Australia actor named Aaron Pedersen who played outback detective Jay Swan in a marvelous little independent film written and directed by Ivan Sen. There was a followup sequel in 2016 called Goldstone and a new TV Series based on the films, also called Mystery Road, broadcast in 2018 ( and, I hope, many more seasons to come).
The biggest compliment I can give him as an actor is that he seems so genuine in all the characters I’ve seen from him that it actually feels like he is not acting but just happens to be the real character come to life that has stumbled onto the movie or TV set and is trapped by the cinematographers lenses and now inhabiting the world we see on film. He’s wholly authentic in spirit if not in flesh and blood. I never see him acting, or looking like he’s reciting lines written by a screenwriter…he just is.
I have since watched all 3 Jack Irish movies featuring Guy Pearce along with Pedersen and the 2 seasons of Jack Irish available on Acorn Media– all of them marvelous and engaging mysteries. In the US, we don’t seem to have any more mysteries written in film or TV, and we have to look to the UK or Australia for great stories in this genre.
Pedersen has worked with some fantastic actors over the years with some of them being my all time favorites with Hugo Weaving from Mystery Road, Guy Pearce in Jack Irish and award winningfavorites, Jacki Weaver in Goldstone and Judy Davis from the Mystery Road TV Show. We should starting seeing him in more prominent features and shows and hopefully someone in Hollywood will offer him a juicy part sometime very soon!
When a film goes into production, a lot of preparation goes on during pre-production to make sure everyone is fully prepared for when the cameras start rolling. The stunt team works very closely with the actors, with fight choreography and daily workouts for up to months sometimes leading up to the first day of shooting. Training for The Matrix was unusually grueling for four months before production, with Keanu Reeves himself training for up to ten hours every day.
To prepare, the Wachowski Brothers hired Yuen Woo-Ping to get the actors ready. Yuen let their body style develop and then worked with each actor’s strength. He built on Reeves’ diligence, Fishburne’s resilience, Weaving’s precision, and Moss’s feminine grace. This all paid off in the end to create one of the best action and fight movies ever put to film. It’s become so iconic in the history of film, that it’s been replicated for years since the movie was released. It wasn’t an easy shoot, several of the actors were dinged up during production; Carrie-Anne Moss twisted an ankle, Hugo Weaving hurt his leg and required surgery and all the actors and stunt performers had their share of bumps and bruises.
It’s also a sign of how heavy the action is in a film when you go into scheduling. A simple fight scene on a normal movie takes an afternoon or one day to shoot, whereas with The Matrix, they literally spent weeks on some action sequences. A good example, the subway fight scene actually went 10 days over schedule. The opening action scene took four days to shoot, the lobby shootout took 10 days to shoot, the helicopter rescue of Morpheus took six months to plan and a week to execute. Overall, the principal photography on this film lasted for 25 weeks.
Things to look up (go to IMDB):
Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!