David Gubbay “Bernard Mueller”
Q 1. What was your first impression of the script?
Well, I thought it was highly original, and I think Gerald is very inventive with his story. And it would be an interesting challenge for such a movie to be made in Newcastle.
Q 2. What’s it like being directed by Gerald?
Well, you need to bear in mind that I’ve never worked in other movies, except for a crowd scene in Moulin Rouge. So I’ve never worked so closely with a director before. It’s very interesting to me to see how the scenes are filmed in a different order, and then put together to build the story.
Gerald is a very relaxed director. He listens to what other people have to say, and usually takes it on board. But not at all times, he has his own ideas. He is not very dogmatic, he doesn’t say –“This is the way it’s going to be, and I’m totally inflexible” .
Q 3. Who do you play in the film?
I play Bernard Mueller, a drug lord. To quote a line from the film: “I’ve made buckets of money from importing drugs”. Not a very nice character in his background in the way he makes money. But I think he’s quite likeable in himself. And the fact that he has a terminal illness makes him more sympathetic.
Q 4. Which other characters would you have liked playing?
I think it would have been fun playing Edward McLean, but then Henri does a wonderful job He has a naturalness about him that comes through on the camera. There are times when I envy the way that Henri can be so natural and believable. But McLean is a wonderful character.
Q 5. How would you describe the film?
It has some comedic intonations in it. It is serious stuff, but there are times when it is a bit amusing. So I would call it a black comedy, but more of a drama than a comedy.
Q 6. What’s unique about this film?
Probably the fact that it’s made in Newcastle, with Newcastle actors and Newcastle locations. It’s a totally home-grown product, from the writer, through to the finished product. And I think it’s something Newcastle should be proud of.
Q 7. How different is film from theatre?
I think the main difference between film and theatre acting is that when you’re on stage, you have to remember to bring your voice out loud, so that the person in the back row can hear what’s being said. Whereas in a movie, you can be really intimate and bring your voice down. And that’s something that I’ve had to learn, and I don’t know that I’ve learnt it all that well!
I’ve had some parts in some TV series, and I tend to boom my voice out, forgetting that the microphone is just above me, and I don’t need to do that. It’s a much more intimate way of acting when you’re in the movies or on TV, distinct from when you’re on the stage.
Q 8. What’s it like working with Henri Szeps?
Henri’s a character, there’s no doubt about that. You can learn a lot from Henri. He’s very amusing and laconic – there’s an ironic side to him that I really enjoy.
Q 9. What are your favourite scenes?
I think I prefer the scenes where I’m in pain, where I’m grimacing with the pain. I think I did that fairly well and believably.
Q 10. Does the film reflect on modern society?
It’s a sad reflection but it’s probably an accurate reflection of people in this day and age – that the probable passing of a relative is less important, than what’s going to be left behind in the way of wealth. It says a lot about greed.
Q 11. What was your reaction to the film’s recent award?
Well, the fact that it won an ‘Honorable Mention’ in a Los Angeles Film Festival is fantastic. And to know that I have been viewed by people in L.A., along with my fellow Newcastle actors, it’s really quite amazing.
To think that people on the other side of the world are looking at it! Congratulations to everybody involved in the production for getting that special mention.