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Offline NudieDaniel

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How we made Walkabout
« on: August 12, 2016, 08:43:58 am »
Jenny Agutter: ‘Our motel in the Australian outback had draught-excluders on its doors – to keep the poisonous snakes from getting into bed with you’

Interviews by Alex Godfrey

Tuesday 9 August 2016 07.00 BST

‘Some people were terrified’ … David Gulpilil, left, with Jenny Agutter and Luc Roeg as the brother and sister lost in the Australian outback. Photograph: BFI

Interviews by Alex Godfrey

Tuesday 9 August 2016 07.00 BST

Jenny Agutter, actor

I was still at ballet boarding school when I went to see Nic Roeg about the role. His wife had seen me in a BBC drama and, after school one day, I met him in his flat, wearing my little grey skirt. It had been longer – but when you’re at boarding school, your parents can’t keep an eye on your uniform, so it was quite mini. Nic had it reproduced for the film.

Shooting in Australia was extraordinary, though some people were terrified. They thought everything in the outback was trying to kill them, which it was, particularly the snakes. But I was never scared. There was a motel that had these draught-excluders on the bottom of its doors. I said: “Why in the world would you have draught-excluders? It’s so hot at night, I just leave my door open.” Someone said: “They’re not draught-excluders. They’re to keep the snakes out. They like to get into bed with you. The king browns are quite poisonous.” I said: “In that case, I’ll close the door.”

I was inhibited’ … Jenny Agutter in the swimming scene. Photograph:

We travelled to so many different places. I was staying in a caravan, but that got stuck somewhere. I slept in a riverbed, lying on a brass bed we were using in the film, with a mosquito net thrown over it. And I remember seeing these huge clouds of flying ants at one point. They were dropping to the ground because of the rain.

Nic wanted the scene in which I swam naked to be straightforward. He wanted me to be uninhibited – which I wasn’t. I was a very inhibited young woman. I didn’t feel uncomfortable about the intention of the scene, but that doesn’t make you feel any better. There was no one around, apart from Nic in the distance with his camera. No lights, nothing. Once he’d got the shot, I got out of the water and dressed as quickly as possible. I don’t think people were as obsessed with nudity back then as they are today.

I remember having too much wine over dinner in Darwin and then filming hungover. The crew drank a lot. It was like travelling around with a bunch of circus people. I went back to school for a couple of months and was really dozy, not very together. The whole thing was a sort of romance, a coming of age. Like my character, I was very much growing up in that little period of time.

Luc Roeg learns bushcraft with David Gulpilil. Photograph: Everett/Rex/Shutterstock

Luc Roeg, actor

I was seven. My dad didn’t want an actor – he didn’t want a performance. It had to be as natural as possible. So we did it as a family unit, meaning it didn’t feel like I was being taken off somewhere.

The interior of Australia was even more remote back then. There were very few roads, if any, around Uluru. You were really in the wilderness together, relying on each other. Shooting in the heat could be really taxing – especially in a blazer with a satchel and cap. By the end, I hated that bloody school uniform.

I got sunburn. Then this boar got run over by one of the trucks. Everyone was quite distressed but David Gulpilil [who played the Indigenous Australian who finds Jenny and me lost in the outback] said we could use animal fat to calm the sunburn, as Indigenous people might. So he treated my back and we used it in the film.

Watch a trailer for Walkabout

I had to jump in the water naked too, which absolutely terrified me. I kept putting my hands in front of my crotch to protect my dignity. My dad yelled down from the clifftop: “Take your bloody hands away!” So I took them away and jumped straight into the cold water.

It really became our world, our community, our life. Coming home from Australia, everything felt completely alien. We’d all gone a bit feral.

    Walkabout is screening at Somerset House, London, on 9 August.
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Re: How we made Walkabout
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 12:58:55 pm »
I watched this atmospheric movie a few months ago after I finished my dissertation and liked every scene of it!

Offline Danee

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Re: How we made Walkabout
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2016, 01:33:09 pm »
Top-free Equality. Its a right, not a privilege!

Offline cp

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Re: How we made Walkabout
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 06:51:59 pm »

Looks good, will have to go on my watch list when i have a bit more time...

Offline newbie

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Re: How we made Walkabout
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 01:28:41 pm »
i hadn't heard about this movie before!  thanks for sharing - it sounds interesting!  :laugh: