Australian Biography

Charles "Bud" Tingwell - full interview transcript

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You worked with Jack Thompson on 'Petersen' and you worked with him again on the very great success, 'Breaker Morant'. When you did 'Breaker Morant', did you have any idea what a big success it was going to be?

No, except that I loved the way Bruce was shooting it, Bruce Beresford. And we had a wonderful crew. Don McAlpine on camera and Gary Wilkins on sound, who's a dream sound man. I worked with Gary on 'Homicide' and we'd even done some sound experiments together and things and, yeah. And the set was brilliantly designed as a four walled set so you felt you were in a real place, though you were inside a studio. And I was working with Teddy Woodward again, Edward Woodward, who had been in 'Emergency Ward 10' with me. Twice. He'd been in as a patient and was a chest surgeon and I think I took over from him so he could go to Stratford in that very cooperative way Tony Keary worked. And he fitted in beautifully. He's a beaut actor and a beaut bloke.

And it was a pretty astonishing cast, looking back, and you think we had Bryan Brown and Lewis Fitzgerald and, oh, yeah, it was, it was great. And a fine script. Now, my controversial feeling about the script is, as finely written as it was and therefore wonderful to play, I have heard that there were other views of the whole event. That it wasn't quite as black and white as perhaps we suggested. But apart from that, it was a great production to be in. Jack and I had worked before 'Petersen' when he was in a Sydney episode of 'Homicide' which was set on board a, a police launch and he was the Sydney copper. And we had lots of time to discuss all aspects of acting because we were doing lots of wide shots with - out of range of sound cameras and things. And I loved his attitude to work and to acting. And...

What was it about it that you liked?

Oh, he was - Jack's a very good, strong, sincere actor with a great background. His father, his foster father, was John Thompson, one of the ABC's great producers and I'd had the pleasure of working with John and his brother Peter as a distinguished film expert. And I just loved, the, the whole thing. When, and I, Jack's work in 'Breaker' for that big speech, that big speech to the court. The close-ups of that were take one and didn't do a second take. Bruce - and I loved Bruce's courage at printing that one. We did other angles on it, of course, but the main part of that was Jack's take one and it was superb.

You played against type, really, as a villain? Do you enjoy playing villains?

Oh, love villains, yes. Yes, I had, I used to get lovely villain roles in England. And even played a Hitler parallel in a, in an advertising agency story, beautifully directed by one of the - and I said, what - "I love the role" and it was quite successful and I said, "Why me?" He said, "Well I've seen you play a lot of nice guys", he said, "but it would be good to see what you do with a baddie". And this was the, the real, real baddie. Yeah...

What do you do with baddies?

Well, I, I've never quite understood the psychology of somebody who could do really evil things and apparently enjoy doing evil things but there must be something that motivates them, whatever it might be. And I think they must lead a double life anyway. Because to get by in the world and go to the supermarket and be nice to the waitress or the taxi driver or something, you've got to be able to lead a pretty accurate double life if you're going to go off and then order somebody to be shot or whatever. And I find that absolutely fascinating, you know. I don't want to be a baddie but I find that study, and to play them like that. One of my most favourite roles in Australia was the one we did before 'Breaker Morant', directed by Bruce Beresford, 'Money Movers' and I played the Mr Big, real baddie and he was the big shot in a rather good suit and all that, ordering these terrible things and bank robberies and things to be done on his behalf. And I loved all that. It was great and wasn't - they said I wasn't too bad in that one.

And the character you played in 'Breaker Morant', how did you approach that?

I took it that he firmly believed that he was doing the right thing. However ill-informed he was, all his research said, under the rules that we have, war rules, these men have done this and the book says they must be executed and my duty is to follow through those orders. And, having had to be briefed during the war to do things that we thought were almost suicidal, and having great sympathy for the officer who told Bill and I on one particular operation, to go out and most likely be shot down, and "Have you written any letters?" "Yes." "Alright." And feeling terribly sorry for the man, a flight commander who ordered us, I had a strange sympathy for the guy who had to do apparently appalling things under wartime regulations. I don't excuse the awfulness of it but I understood that it's a pretty enormous dilemma for a human being to have to face.

And so technically you held that in your head while you were playing it?

Very much so, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I played him as a guy who didn't like being interrupted and all that sort of thing as well. And these chaps must obey all the rules of the court and all that. So, there were, there were lots of opportunities to show little weaknesses in the guy being, you know, sort of upset by something and that sort of thing. Or making a little silly crack. Especially about Bryan Brown's character. There's a lovely little moment there that I think often was lost in the cinema because there was a bit of a laugh too which was nice. I can't remember the exact words now but I think Bryan Brown says something about having gone to somewhere with a, with an attractive woman and he came up with the evidence somehow. And I had to say something like, "Oh, yes, obviously", or something, you know, there was some little comment. I loved doing little things like that in it.

Did you - do you always, in roles that you play, draw on your own experience? I mean you just explained that it was a wartime experience that you made you understand the motivation. Do you use that a lot, your own experiences in things?

Yes, I think so and, unless you're extraordinarily highly educated which I'm not, that's really all you've got is the evidence provided by the writer, the input of a director of course plus your own experience to know what a character is likely to do under those given circumstances. So, yes, I suppose. Obviously too, if you've read enough or if you've read, say, Hamlet's advice to the players, there are other elements, of course, coming in. But I think that your own experience or knowledge, plays a huge role in, in what an actor does.

You've made a lot of films with Paul Cox. You've been involved in his films. Is that - is he very - his films seem quite different from a lot of other Australian directors. Do you experience that as an actor?

Oh yes. To me he's the master director. And I was very pleased to see one of the critics in America who raved about 'Innocence' said "master director Paul Cox" in his review. Paul is a very intelligent man and a man of deep feelings, a fine photographer himself before he went into movies. Born in Holland, during World War II and, I think by the age of four the Nazis were still in occupation there and he has strong and difficult memories of hiding under tables and things like that when the chaps were looking for an uncle, I think in his case, and the family were trying to hide the uncle and safely got him out and back to England. So he's got a lot of depth in his experience and his own father was a distinguished photographer too. So he's looking at films from many different angles.

And - or in the case of 'Innocence', his, he told me that long before we made the movie, he had this, this feeling, this understanding that people don't change inwardly as they grow older but - and are capable of hatred, love, falling in love, all sorts of things. And then when he wrote the script and sent it to me, it was an amazingly beautifully written script. And, in my own experience, of now being very much older, very accurate too.

And you had also worked on some of the earlier films with him. But 'Innocence' was your first lead role with him, wasn't it?

Well, oh yes, that's right.

How does he work with actors?

Well I just love the way he sort of, you - to me one of the signs of a great director looking back over the many years, that with the really great directors, it's very hard to remember who did what. Did the director tell me to play it faster or slower or did he allow me to play it faster or slower or - I mean there's lovely rare moments when Johnny Saul said, "Play it like you love her", instead of play it like you hate it. When you look at the surface said, oh he hates her. No he doesn't, he loves her but he says that. Those are lovely, great insights and Paul's got that too. I can't remember details now during 'Innocence' but there were many times when he'd guide me into some way of doing it. And then on another occasion he'd allow me to bring something to it that I almost wasn't aware of. And then at the end of it, because he prints mainly only take one, he doesn't shoot an unnecessary take two, which is a fabulous way to work on film because you know that you're not going to shoot until everything's ready. I - to me, he's, he's an extraordinary person to work with and a beaut bloke too, of course. You know, we had a couple of glasses of wine after work once or twice and discussed a few things. He's a beaut fellow.

Now you have also taken a very strong role, despite your determination to be non-controversial publicly, in the whole business of building an Australian industry. You were recruited fairly soon after you came back to be involved in that. What made you decide to break your rule and get involved in the Make It Australian campaign and so on?

Oh, look, I just think it's, this doesn't even have to be controversial. I think it's, the Australian industry is so long, film industry anyway, going right back to the early part of the 1900s and all those, did we make the first feature film? But I also think that film is such a wonderful record of a country, and it doesn't matter what country it is, and if you can keep building it up and have some sort of archival situation, it's great for the people who may only ever see a bit here and a bit there. But also if you, if you develop your skills as the Americans did and the Swedes did, particularly after World War II when Bergman was making wonderful films first. Suddenly realised that the world was very interested in Sweden. We've always been interested in America, we might not always agree with the Americans, but they've got a wonderfully vigorous industry that's been an enormous, I suppose, propaganda tool on their behalf. Not always successful but it's there.

I'm always a bit sad when people seem to know more about New York than, if they live in Adelaide, than they do about Sydney perhaps, you know. But we are slowly but surely increasing our own knowledge about ourselves through, alright 'Dad and Dave' in the old days and 'Mr Chedworth Steps Out' in the pre-war movies and 'Breaker Morant' in, in years gone by and 'Rabbit Proof Fence' now. And things like that. It's, it's a fabulous way of recording, alright your own culture, although I find culture a slightly difficult word to come to terms with. Our own history, our own knowledge about ourselves. And we don't have to be all that controversial about ourselves. Let's tell it like it is.

I'm worried sometimes that a lot of our filmmaking is tending to show only one side of, say, the difficulties of the Aboriginal community. I'd love to see a little more work being done on the wonderful people from the white community who've dedicated their, their lives, their skills to looking after the Aboriginal community. Now that may sound to some people, paternalistic and all that. But we have a neighbour, lived across the street, Michelle, who, as soon as she graduated as a nursing sister, went up to Melville Island and she's the same age as my children and she's been there ever since. Now those people are unknown now. We don't know about them. And going back into history, there were wonderful things done and we forget that. The first cricket team to represent Australia in 1868 was an all Aboriginal full-blood team. And as I said to Ernie Dingo once, "Cricket's very hard to learn at the end of a whip if you're being bashed to do a better stroke". You've got to do it more subtly than that. And we've laughed about that. Ernie and I, I'd like to think, are good mates.

But I'd like to see a lot more knowledge about ourselves being spread around a bit more so that we see a bit more both sides of, alright, controversial political issues and things like that. But we are slowly - we are doing that and, and I think it's largely through the film industry and that which comes on telly. I think it's terribly important and, yes, there's a spin-off because I've found on trips overseas in recent years, I mean the rave reviews 'The Castle' got in London, in the press. I had them all here today, checking up on a few things. But every newspaper, except one, raved about that film. And that's not bad for Australia. It's terribly good for Australia. Some people might say, "Oh yeah, but we don't all talk like that", and you know, and that sort of thing. But it didn't matter, they loved the movie.

You were involved as a commissioner on the Australian Film Commission. How did that come about? How did you get asked to do that?

I was invited out of the blue by, it was the Liberal Party, I remember Bob Ellicott ringing me from Canberra. He said, "It's been suggested that you might like to be on the Board of the Film Commission". And I thought, "Oh yeah, OK. Yes". So, I said yes and I went, they used to fly me up to Sydney every month for the monthly meetings. I was then working mainly as a director at Crawfords so they were able to fit that into the schedule. And I think there was another producer from Crawfords, Henry Crawford, who was, I think, a relative of the family, he was also on the Board at the same time. So there was quite a strong input from us about television problems and things like that. And working with a lot of very distinguished people. Very interesting.

And it was at a time too when they brought in perhaps the over-generous 10BA regulations at 150%. And there was a lot of doom and gloom that we will wreck the industry with that and I was saying it doesn't - no we won't do that. What we will do is train a lot of highly skilled technical people by making perhaps films we shouldn't be making because they're too expensive and all that but the spin-off will be skill enhancement over a great range. And I think I was right about that. But, yes, it was a very interesting period.

You were also involved in the Make It Australian campaign, weren't you? For television. What was that campaign? Could you tell us about the sort of history of that?

There seemed to be quite a bit of propaganda against too much Australian content. At about the time that Crawfords lost all their police shows, there were some advertisements running, I don't know, presumably by the channels or something. But - and they were quite inaccurately worded. I remember one had a still of 'Upstairs Downstairs' and another still, or photograph, from one of our shows and saying, "Do you want to be prevented from watching wonderful shows like 'Upstairs Downstairs' by being forced to watch shows like this?" It was something like that and it was very unfair because I worked it out that there was plenty of time for people to see 'Upstairs, Downstairs' and, at the same time, see an Aussie show the hour before or after. And eventually, and I was very impressed by Edward Woodward in this, I was invited by Channel 7 to go into a controversial discussion live with the Head of the Federation of Commercial Television Stations at the time. And somebody wondered if Edward Woodward, who was out here doing a very posh stage play, if he'd like to join me. And he did.

And Edward and I were allied against this other man, a very powerful man and a very nice guy too, a beaut bloke. But I had done all the arithmetic on the hours required to show 'Upstairs Downstairs' and 'Homicide' and all that. And it came down heavily in the favour of the fact that there was plenty of room for Australian shows. And this, the FACTS man said, in the - and I think it was, it was chaired by Brian Naylor who did it very well indeed. And, at one stage, the, the, our opposition said, "By Jove, you chaps have done your homework, haven't you?" And the sort of argument was won and we sort of proved a point. And I don't mind them, sort of, desperately trying to defend their territory, but do it fairly.

The role that you had in 'The Castle', in which you were very successful, am I right in thinking it had been a while since you'd done a feature film?

Yes, it was a while mainly, dare I say, because my wife became less and less well and was quite seriously ill. She was still at home and I was once described as the 'sole carer' by the community people who came to the house to see if it was safe, and if we should put handrails in and things like that. And I thought, "Sole carer? No, I'm just looking after me wife, you know", as you do. But, it suddenly alerted me to the fact that it was much more serious. So I was really restricting myself to doing voiceovers and things that didn't keep me out of the house very long. Bruce Beresford invited me to do a film in northern Queensland and I'd said yes. Then we found out how seriously ill Audrey was and I had to ring him and say, no I can't. And Noel Ferrier was good enough to take over and play the role instead of me. And I was asked to do a play at the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney at about that time and I had to bow out, I'd said, yes, and then had to bow out and Norman Kaye took over and played that for me. A man who played a lot of leads for Paul Cox.

Now that worried Audrey. I said, but no, this, you know, I'm doing voiceovers, enough to pay a few bills and keep the expenses damped out. And it was a pretty difficult time so I'd virtually put myself out of action for feature films and plays and things. And really, I suppose, much on screen work because they're quite, with voiceovers you can vary it. You know, "Could you make it an hour later?" Or, you know, "Do you mind if I don't come 'til 10 o'clock rather 9 nine o'clock?", or whatever. Much more easy to manipulate the timings for those things. Not that they're not important but they are more flexible. And so I think people had got into the habit of realising that I wasn't available.

But before Audrey became very ill, I had done a serious of sketches for the D-Gen team called 'Charlie the Wonder Dog', in 'The Late Show'. I loved the way they worked. That lovely sort of, almost casual, but brilliantly skilled casual way of working. And I used to mumble to them, do a whole series like this. This is brilliant. This is long before I knew they were going to do 'Frontline'. And I loved doing those nutty sketches with Charlie the Wonder Dog and the dotty old grandfather. And it was because of that that they asked me to do 'The Castle'. And I remember when Audrey died, this huge bunch of flowers - I hadn't heard from them for quite a while, arrived from them. And then a week later they rang and asked me how I felt and I said, "Oh, you know, pretty crook. Long marriage and all that". And they said, "Thought about work?" And I said, "Well I'm told it's very therapeutic". "Good, we've written a part for you in our first feature film", and 'The Castle' script arrived. And it was a very therapeutic time. Wonderful.

How important was it in your recovery from Audrey's death that you took that role, do you think?

Very important. It didn't stop the down sides. You know, home from the studio or wherever we'd been shooting. It still got a bit lonely and I think I would have, I would have loved her to have read the script. Sorry. But. It, also then, when the film came out, of course, we had this extraordinary reaction to it. And it said, "Oh, he's up and about again is he? He's doing a bit of work". So, all sorts of - and since then, since 'The Castle', I've had I think the six busiest years I've ever had. It's been extraordinary.

Re-rejumpstarted your career again after the lull.

Yeah, yes. Certainly it did. Oh certainly it did, yeah.

You had some quite emotional speeches for a, for a barrister in that? How - did the emotion that you were experiencing affect the way you did those?

Yeah. It tricked me on one occasion. I loved all the sentiments, you know, a home is full of memories, a house is bricks and mortar. And I remember the beautifully written speech that the barrister had trying to describe that to the High Court chaps sitting up there. And that we mustn't ignore that, you know, the difference between a house and home. And I was halfway through the big speech and I realised I was talking about myself here. And that got to me and I nearly had to stop but kept going. And Rob Sitch called cut very quietly at the end of the speech and they had a bit of a confab around the camera. He said, "I think we'd better do a second take", and - because we didn't do many second takes if it was OK. Like Paul Cox. And we did the second take and I'm pretty sure, I must ask him one day, I think he used the first half of the first take and the second half of the second take with a, an intercut with Michael Caton watching me.

But I, yeah, I nearly lost it completely there. But I loved the accuracy of the writing. I loved that first speech - scene I had with Michael when he assumed I was in court, I said I was in court to watch my son and he assumed I was in court to watch my son being charged with something, on trial. And he said something and I said, "Oh no, no, he, he's a barrister. This is his first day in court as a barrister", and so on, me as the retired barrister was watching the son.

And I loved - and the delicacy of that writing and Michael and I worked on that scene so that I didn't play what I said in such a way that would make him look an idiot if he misunderstood. And, you could have played it clumsily but under Rob's direction, we were, we weren't going to - but what was lovely was that all of us realised how delicately that was written. And I think quite a few critics probably missed some of the subtleties within that carefully written script. Though I do believe it was written fairly fast. But they're all pretty bright people.

This great resurgence of your career that's happened since then, have you found that difficult or has it just been exciting?

Oh. I suppose the normal difficulties of being an actor and doing, I've done a couple of things for Patricia Edgar's marvellous, you know, Children's Film Foundation [Australian Childrens Television Foundation]. 'Round the Twist' and, oh, there was something else. And then recently we did '[Legacy of] The Silver Shadow' and I revealed that my body shape is not what it should be for a screen hero. But that was the joke of the character. He'd once been a famous sort of crime fighter, now he was old and past it and a bit of a derelict. He'd put on his crime fighting suit and didn't look too good. I loved the sort of, sort of sending myself up like that. If I wanted to ponder it and say, "My Jove, should you do that? And, what will that do to your career?" Fortunately being so old, it doesn't much matter. I had fun doing it and I loved working with it. It was directed by Julian McSwiney who reminded me that I'd trained him as a director at Crawfords which was one of my tasks there for quite a long time. I was, I used to train directors and that sort of thing and be a guide, comforter and friend and all that to them.

And he seemed very grateful and I said, "I was [sic], I'm impressed you're still working so that's good for my morale". So there were a lot of elements in it. And working, I loved working with young people to see how they're copping it. And I have been told by young actors, it is good to be, to watch the older, experienced actors at work and see how they behave, not just as actors but as human beings, you know, on a film set.

A lot of the films that you've been involved in in recent times have had this autobiographical element to them, haven't they? And also 'The Carer', the stage play. There was 'The Carer', there was 'Innocence' with a man finding a new lover after the death of his wife and, and there was also the little film you did with Rachel Griffiths which was - now you were happy to do that small film with Rachel. Was that because it did have - 'Tulip', 'Tulip' - was that because it did have a sort of certain autobiographical element about a man who'd lost his wife?

I'd like to say there were deep and meaningful reasons for it, but I was playing a small part in 'Amy' that Rachel was playing the lead in. She just asked me to read the script one night. Said, "I've written this little script because I'd like to direct something. Would you take it home and read it?" And I took it home and read this delightful script. The whole thing ran - what, twelve minutes? - was the film. I took it back the next morning. I said, "It's wonderful". She said, "Will you do it?" I said, "Oh, crikey, I'd love to". I said, "Who's directing?" She said, "I am". "Ooh." So, here was a very distinguished actress, well on the way to enormous success, and international success, wanting to have a bit of a go as a director and I just loved all that. Now, yes, it was close to the bone. It was, you know, a chap getting over from, his wife had just died.

And she put that lovely little tribute at the end, not only to Audrey but to the man who's farm we used. He was - he'd lost his wife. He was much older than I, he was in his eighties. And we used a farm that was a working farm and that - and I then found out that it had actually happened to Rachel's, an uncle of Rachel's mother. And so it was a family story and we then, as we, actors together, we chatted about, a lot about acting, when we were just, you know, when I was doing 'Amy'. And then we carried it on and we used it as a sort of exercise in how accurate a camera can be in actually photographing thoughts and thought processes. And Rachel, as a director, was superb because I don't remember talking about anything else other than what the man was actually thinking at any given time.

And that made my task as the actor much more interesting and, frankly, easier, in that I didn't have to worry about what expression I had on me face or whether I was feeling it properly. All I had to do was to think it accurately. And that went right back to some experiments I had done years before when I was doing 'Emergency Ward 10' and I found that, remembered that the thought processes are so enormously important because cameras are accurate and photograph that. And it fitted with a lot of the teaching that John Saul had imparted and a lot of his theories. So, in every way, it worked as a wonderful experiment. And I love to think that it may have even helped Rachel, not only as a director, but as an actor too.

You'd sworn you'd never put on a dress again.

Yes. Oh I swore that after Lucie Manette all those years ago at school but, she was rather proud of the fact, as she said on a 'This is Your Life', they did on me. She said, "I'm very proud of the fact that I'm the only woman to get you into a dress". [INTERRUPTION]

Right now, at this point in time, what are you thinking about your career? What's next for you Bud?

I frankly have no ambitions at all left. Or no, I was always nervous about ambitions because they can lead you astray sometimes. However, I frankly just want to do what I'm doing. I have been asked by three or four publishers now to think about doing a book and I've at last agreed, God, this sounds awful doesn't it? "I've agreed to do one." And an arrangement has been arrived at with the publisher and through my agent, Joanne Baker. And I'm very happy about that. But I, I confess I so love mucking about and being an actor and, yeah, even directing a bit, that I don't want to not do what I've been doing, certainly over the last six years. It's been absolutely fantastic. We have had some inquiries about Paul Cox's - gosh, Freudian slip - Alan Hopgood's 'Carer', for Singapore and even Portugal, there's an interest in it for the English colony there for some conference on caring. We're certainly going to lock off, we hope, on a Queensland tour next year and maybe the Top End, you know, Darwin, Alice Springs, which I'd love to do.

And 'Innocence' is soon to start in London. I've had a request to go to London to do some DVD interviews for the series I did in England in the, in 1969, called 'Catweazle'. So a lot of very exciting things and, if my health holds up, I'll - I just want to potter along doing all those. And it's a, it's - and none of them, I have to say, "I wonder if it's good for my career?" I frankly don't care. It sounds like fun. Not fun, you know, beaut, the whole thing.

Why was it difficult for you to decide to do an autobiography?

I'm frankly basically very lazy and the enormity of having to sit down to write all those pages. I've got books and books there that I've been so lazy, I've only read the first quarter of most of them. Not because I didn't like them, but something would distract me or I'd put a marker in it and say I'll get back to that. And I had, I was frightened I might do that if I were trying to write a book. I find it difficult to sit down and I, I haven't learnt to use a computer yet, properly. I'd love to be able to do it and all that lovely correction you can do by typing on a computer and I can't find my dear old Olivetti. I think it's got lost in some stuff that's now in store somewhere. So I haven't typed anything for quite a while. So all that adds up. And then people say, "Well why don't you just sit down and record it on tape?" But I thought, that'd be, that'd be pretty boring.

I love it when people, well like yourself, ask questions and you've to enlarge on things, often too much, but do so but that's all. But this new arrangement, they've introduced me to Peter Wilmoth who writes very good articles, I believe, for The Age in Melbourne and he's going to work with me on it. And I, I'm starting to look forward to that very much indeed.

You've received, over the years, quite a lot of awards and honours of various kinds, both national and acting. How important are awards do you think?

Oh, look, yeah, it's nice. A nomination's nice too. I, I, I never won a real fair dinkum acting award until I got the Las Palmas International Film Festival Best Actor Award about a year or so ago for 'Innocence'. Now, I, I was astonished at that. 'Innocence' also got Best Picture at the same festival. I was pleased about that because it was very nice. But nobody knows about it because it didn't actually hit the headlines and I haven't got a, you know, an award. It was just written down somewhere.

I've got a couple of what I call the NGY awards which means, you're 'Not Gone Yet'. That was the, I mustn't make light of it because it was a great honour, but they gave me the Raymond Longford Award from the AFIs as a contribution to the industry. I got a similar award the Penguin Award some years ago and a Green Room Award and things like that. But they're all sort of, well done, you know, a pat on the head. An awful thing to say but, you know. I, I was up against Eric Bana for Best Actor Award for 'Innocence' but, as we said, when Eric did the Chopper Reid movie, it would have been like being up against Geoffrey Rush for 'Shine'. Eric was so brilliant in that role and we were all thrilled to bits that he got the award for that. And, and he's, you know, he's having a wonderful run here and overseas of course. Which is terrific because he's - when we did 'The Castle', I realised that he wasn't just a comedian. He was a very fine actor indeed. So it's great to see that.

When I got the 'official award', and we were at Government House, yes it was pleasant, the family were there with me and all that. But, at the same award ceremony were the men and women who were getting the gallantry awards for those amazing rescues in Bass Strait. So, that, that puts you in your place a little bit you know. I mean I was so impressed by those, those fantastic people, what they did to pick the yachtsmen out of the water. Amazing stuff. And then, slightly thrown when they would come over and talk to me about my work in movies or get an autograph even, which was very, very flattering indeed. But you, you, you knew your place. You know, we'd seen the real thing, if you like. As lovely as it was to get that, that award at Government House.

Right. Just got my tap. [INTERRUPTION]

[end of tape]

Proceed to Tape 9