The world really is his oyster
The Cairns Post / The Cairns Sun
20 August 2005
(The original article seems to be lost, but I found this version of it on
(Just some trivia – this is the correct direction of this picture)
It’s no surprise these days to find that just when an actor makes a name for himself with the Australian public, he’s already packed up and moved to LA. Alex O’Lachlan, star of the new film Oyster Farmer, is no different.
“My experience is that there’s f—all work here,” the 28-year-old says on a brief visit home to promote the movie. “And to pay your mortgage, or to pay just to live and to feed your kids, to support your partner and support yourself, you have to work. I think an actor gets to the stage where he goes: ‘Well I’d really like to make a living as an actor instead of waiting on tables or cleaning toilets or whatever’. So if your passion is to pursue that, you sometimes have to go overseas.”
O’Lachlan, who appeared in White Collar Blue and Black Jack before Oyster Farmer is hesitant to talk about the sorry state of the Australian film industry because he says he’s not privy to meetings where significant issues such as funding are decided. “Over the past few years, I’ve constantly heard people in the industry say it’s going to be fine, and I hope it is, but it’s scary what’s happening and it’s scary what’s not happening,” he says.
Making the jump to LA was tough on many levels. O’Lachlan has a son at primary school and living on the NSW coast. “And I’ve been questioned by younger actors about my motivation, getting this sort of, ‘You should be staying here’,” he says. “I don’t give a f—. I’m a human as well. I can tell human stories. I don’t care if it’s in an American accent, an Irish accent or a Lithuanian accent. What difference does it make?”
Though he’s now busy doing the LA audition shuffle, the NIDA graduate is also doing his bit to get the ball rolling back home. He and Oyster Farmer co-star Jack Thompson have started their own production company and have already wrapped their first feature. “Yeah, can’t get rid of him,” O’Lachlan jokes of his relationship with the veteran Thompson. “We’ve done three films together, the last one called Feed. The inception of that film was in my lounge room with Jack and his son, Pat, and an American director who now lives here, Brett Leonard.”
“Myself and Jack have become great mates. We realised that what we want for the industry and what we think movies should be about was the same.”
Feed, due out next year, is a dark story of sexual perversion. The low-key Oyster Farmer is at the other end of the spectrum – a gentle story of a runaway city lad who takes a job on the Hawkesbury River and whose life changes as he mingles with the eccentric characters along the river’s banks.
With David Field and Kerry Armstrong also in the cast, he was in experienced company.“You feel so safe as a young actor with those people around you,” he says. “They will actually pull you aside and word you up on things, so I got a lot of guidance.”
Oyster Farmer is now showing in Cairns cinemas.
- Interesting interview. I always prefer to see Alex in person on videos rather that to read what he said. There is normally so much more behind his words with body language than what a report chose to write.