Questions with Stalkher stars John Jarratt & Kaarin Fairfax

John Jarratt in Stalkher

Stalkher stars answers some questions…

John Jarratt and Kaarin Fairfax, the stars and directors of Stalkher were kind enough to take some time out of their day to answer some questions for us.

Jack is pushed past the brink of his stalking obsession when he decides to break into Emily’s home to take what he wants by force. However, his plans for her pain and his pleasure come unhinged when he wakes up to find himself bleeding and bound to a chair in her kitchen. For one night Jack and Emily engage in a twisted and thrilling courtship of the sexes that leads one to wonder which one of them will survive the night.

We first asked John Jarratt –

How did you get involved in STALKHER?

My Producer and business partner, Kris Maric, wrote the script. I read it and I thought it was brilliant.

What drew you to the film in particular?

The language and the twists and turns of the plot. It’s a cross between Misery and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Can you give some background on the character you play?

He’s a Pharmacist and he’s obsessed with Emily whom he’s stalking. Both of the characters in the film have complicated backgrounds.

How is it that you came to direct and star?

My company made the film. I looked at the budget and saw how much was allocated for the director and I said, “We can’t afford that, I’ll direct it.” Everything fell into place from there.

This is your first time directing? What did you learn from process?

Essentially it is the first time, but after doing over 40 films and umpteen mini series since 1974, I had a very good idea of what was required. I learnt to trust my instincts and be very thorough when making changes from my own big picture of the film. Sometimes others made an amazing improvement and I learnt to acknowledge the many experts involved in the complexity of filmmaking.

You are now seen as somewhat of a horror icon – Does this sit well with you?

It’s the way it is. If I do a very good comedy in the near future I’ll become a comedy icon, probably.

What was the last horror film you watched?

100 Bloody Acres. Brilliant Ozzie horror/comedy. Worth a look, don’t illegally download it, buy it you bastards.

What scares you?

Being eaten alive from the legs up by a White Pointer shark.

Then Kaarin Fairfax gave us her answers –

kaarin fairfax in Stalkher

How did you get involved in STALKHER?

I was making my comeback to acting after 20 years of parenting and directing theatre and music shows. I was doing masterclasses and studying with the best teachers in the world. Kerry Armstrong, Elizabeth Kemp and Larry Moss. I received a phone call from John to ask me if I wanted to do a film with him. We had worked together in The Last Outlaw, when we were really young. I was so ready to do a role and he sent me the script and said if I was keen we would have a writing session to work on the script. I said ‘yes of course..what am I nuts?’ A lead role opposite John, (who I adore) in a film that was quirky and a bit mental – that is my kind of creature.

What drew you to the film in particular?

I loved that a woman had written the script and that the character Emily was struggling to find who she was and how she fitted into the expectations of what a woman was meant to be. I loved the fantastical nature of the story and the extremes in the characters.

Can you give some background on the character you play?

Emily is a nurse who works with ageing patients and has the power to help them die more quickly. Emily’s backstory is not a nice one having grown up in an abusive family where her step father didn’t raise her properly. She has developed over time a need for revenge and a penchant for love that isn’t within the normally accepted spectrum.

How is it that you came to direct?

I had done a lot of directing for the theatre so John as first time director said to me, ‘You direct me and I will direct you’. We are friends. We trust and respect each other, and our work, so it seemed like a fun and kind of natural thing to do.

Being a 1st time director, was it a steep learning curve?

For me not so much, as I was not part of the camera shots and larger production issues. I was fortunate enough to be included in all meetings. I worked with the designers on the layout of the kitchen and the costume designer Melody Cooper on Emily’s look. Mainly though my main focus was on John and how I moved Emily in the space to keep it interesting and alive, oh and tracking the props was a big one too.

How was the experience of acting & directing?

I have to say I find acting and directing challenging and great all at the same time. Some days I would turn up on set and really have to check myself that I had Emily in the right place. I did sometimes wish we had an outside eye to give us feedback that we had achieved what was required in the scenes. Thankfully the crew were amazing and a nod from the grip Billy or Suzy the makeup artist was what I needed for reassurance. It for me had a great family feel like we were all such a part of this project. It was terrific.

What was the last horror film you watched?

I watched the Babadook with Essie Davis. I love that film. An Australian Film we can be really proud of, and scared of too.

What scares you?

Scary movies do scare me…misuse of power scares me; and clowns, they freak me out…but I love them too!

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