‘It’s Oarstraylian for beer’ … Brian Guest takes the piss, quite literally, in a fun online video aimed at Australian actors.It’s now the oldest, and least funny, joke in Hollywood: an Australian walks into the casting room… .
For almost a century – from Errol Flynn to Rod Taylor, Mel Gibson and Nicole Kidman – Australian actors have held pride of place on Hollywood’s billboards.
But 2013 sees Tinseltown under attack from an almost unprecedented Aussie invasion.
As Fairfax reported last month more than 20 Australian actors have been cast in US pilots this year.
But this week, a lone American actor struck back. Brian Guest, whose credits include small roles in Southland, Hawaii 5-0 and Torchwood, produced a short for the comedy website Funny Or Die.
In it he plays an American actor who, frustrated by the lack of American roles on American TV left for American actors, turns the tables on the Aussie invaders.
“You’re doing great work, you’re just not Australian,” his agent tells him in one scene.
It’s a gentle parody, and it even has a few Aussie actors in on the joke.
The casting assistant in the film is played former Neighbours actress (and Jason Donovan’s sister) Stephanie McIntosh.
And the Aussie actor at the audition Guest hopes to trump is played by Andrew Lees, an Australian actor best known for a starring role on Nine’s Rescue: Special Ops. He also had a role in the HBO miniseries The Pacific.
The clip has gone viral, and caught the attention of Australian media, who are bemused by the reaction of one of Hollywood’s own at the prospect of a full-scale Aussie invasion.
No less than five former Home and Away actors – Luke Mitchell, Bob Morley, Chris Egan, Lincoln Lewis and Luke Bracey – have booked gigs in US television pilots this year.
Rachel Griffiths, Rodger Corser, Dena Kaplan, Tim Pocock, Tom Green, Rachael Taylor, Miranda Otto, Bojana Novakovic, Jacki Weaver, Anthony LaPaglia, Rebel Wilson, Adelaine Kane, Toni Collette, Meegan Warner, Daniel Henshall, Rick Donald and Melissa George have also booked pilots or series.
Every January and February the US networks cast more than 70 drama and comedy pilots, from which perhaps only a few dozen will get the green light.
The successful pilots, and some that are undecided, are screened to international programmers every May at a week-long event known as the “May screenings”.
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