Bryan Brown taking audiences to Palm Beach

Bryan Brown. Picture: David Baylis d494760
Bryan Brown. Picture: David Baylis d494760

AT 72 years old, Bryan Brown has finally realised he is a storyteller.

“You think you’re an actor, but when you create a character you become part of the storytelling whether you like it or not,” Brown said.

“Everything is a story, everyone has a story and they’re all bloody different.”

Brown’s latest film Palm Beach, which he produced and stars in, was directed by wife Rachel Ward and is the result of a Christmas celebrated in Wales five years ago with three other couples.

Bryan Brown. Picture: David Baylis d494760

“It was a great Christmas with laughs among friends for ages,” he said.

“But I came away from it realising the men were going through things and were all in some sort of quicksand, dealing with depression or the loss of a job or loss of identity.

“Here were four quite capable people who might seem successful in certain ways but none of that matters much when they’re all going through pain in their head.

“And if that’s happening to them then it’s happening to everybody, so let’s talk about this, without forgetting that pain and joy can go together because at the same time we’d just had a great time.”

Ward wrote the screenplay with Joanna Murray-Smith, who Brown approached after the couple saw her play Fury.

Bryan Brown in Palm Beach.

The result is a film full of drama and comedy where a group of lifelong friends descend on Frank’s (Brown) Palm Beach home to celebrate his birthday.

The cast includes Greta Scacchi, Sam Neill, Richard E. Grant, Jacqueline McKenzie, Heather Mitchell, Claire Van Der Boom, Aaron Jeffery, Charlie Vickers and Brown and Ward’s daughter Matilda Brown.

Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, Richard E. Grant and Aaron Jeffery in Palm Beach.

The film marks Brown’s second time in a movie called Palm Beach. The first was released in 1980 with a very different storyline.

“I do run in both movies but I ran a lot faster in that earlier one,” he said.

“The Bryan Brown who did the first Palm Beach wouldn’t have understood that a bloke could be dealing with a number of difficult things later in life. My bloke now is older and wiser.”

Palm Beach is in cinemas August 8 and will screen at CinefestOZ.

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