We continue our series of trivia around Alex’s other roles…..
This time we look at ‘The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant’, with Alex in the role of Will Bryant, Mary’s husband.
• The mini-series was filmed in Australia in the spring of 2004, on a $15 million budget, making it Australia’s biggest mini-series ever. (I would guess it was up until that time – I wonder if anything bigger has been done since then?) (And remember that spring in Australia (the Southern hemisphere) is from September to November )
• Filming took 12 weeks to complete.
• The ship used throughout the production is The Bounty, which was also used in the Mel Gibson movie of the same name. It is the only ship actually used in Mary Bryant, all other ships were either digitally reproduced or came from shots purchased from ‘The Bounty’ or the UK ‘Hornblower’ TV series.
• It mostly rained during the shoot on the ship, which gave the movie the right look but made the cast and crew miserable.
• The Aborigines in the film were brought in from Alice Springs.
• Iva Davies (the former lead singer of Icehouse) is responsible for the score.
• Director Peter Andrikidis on Alex O’Loughlin:
“That’s a thinking actor, that’s Alex. Every moment he’s making sure that he’s giving two hundred percent, which makes my job a lot easier.”
He also calls Alex “a fantastic actor” and “a NIDA boy who’s learned a lot”.
• Anousha Zarkesh, who took care of the Australian casting, is actor David Field’s wife.
• Alex O’Loughlin was one of the last leads to be cast.
• It took the makeup department three hours to cover Alex’s tattoos for the shirtless scene in the ship’s hold.
• The cast were given two weeks to improve their rowing skills and learn how to fire muskets.
• It was decided that the convict cast should have a Northern English accent instead of a Cornish accent, to make it easier for Australian audiences to understand.
• The water sequences of the escapees in the cutter were filmed in the Whitsunday Islands, in the same area where Dead Calm with Nicole Kidman was filmed.
• The beach scenes were filmed at Garie Beach in Royal National Park, south of Sydney.
• It would have required a crane to move the beached cutter. What you see is the camera panning away as the actors pretend to move the boat.
• The idea of Charlotte wearing Will’s shoes while she is sleeping with her feet resting against him came from Alex.
• Stephen Curry wore a Stinger Suit underneath his clothes in the scene where William Allen’s dead body was committed to the sea.
• Romola Garai chipped a bone in her left arm when she put her hands up in the air and got hit by a ceiling fan. Production had to be shut down for a day when she was flown to Sydney from the Whitsundays to consult a specialist. In the scene on Timor when Mary and Will walk towards each other on the beach, she has both lower arms covered to hide her cast. It shows when he picks her up and swings her around.
• During a rehearsal, Alex picked Romola up the wrong way and unintentionally hurt her badly enough to make her scream.
• Alex O’Loughlin drew out Will’s death scene longer than Peter Andrikidis initially intended, but the director ended up loving Alex’s version.
• The tropical Timor set was built at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, beside the Parramatta River in Sydney.
• Peter Andrikidis and Alex O’Loughlin had worked with each other before in BlackJack: Sweet Science.
• Mary Bryant marks the fourth production in which Alex O’Loughlin has worked with David Field. Other productions are Oyster Farmer, BlackJack: Sweet Science, and Feed.
• In 2005, Alex O’Loughlin and Romola Garai received Australian Film Institute nominations for Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress in Television. Although they did not win, the production did win an AFI Award for Best Telefeature or Mini-Series.
• In 2006, Mary Bryant also won a Logie for Most Outstanding Miniseries/Telemovie. Alex O’Loughlin and Romola Garai were both nominated for a Silver Logie in the categories Most Outstanding Actor and Most Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.
• The mini-series has also won awards at the Chicago International Film Festival in 2006 (Best Mini-Series and Special Achievement: Direction for Peter Andrikidis)
• and the New York Festivals in 2007 (Best Mini-Series, Drama Mini-Series).