Gwilym Lee’s Top End Wedding with Miranda Tapsell

Miranda Tapsell and Gwilym Lee in Top End Wedding.
Miranda Tapsell and Gwilym Lee in Top End Wedding.

WHILE British actor Gwilym Lee is now best known for playing Brian May in last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, in Australia it is an earlier TV role that gets him recognised.

“It’s really lovely. I get more love for Midsomer Murders over here than anywhere else in the world, Australians kind of love it,” he said of his stint as DS Charlie Nelson, Chief Inspector John Barnaby’s second in command.

Lee, who has a local connection, with his agent Sian Smyth originally from Perth, is now starring alongside Miranda Tapsell in Top End Wedding.

This Australian-own rom-com was co-written by Tapsell, inspired by her Northern Territory heritage.

The pair play Lauren and Ned, who are determined to get married in the 10 days she is allowed off from her law firm job in Adelaide.

They fly to Lauren’s hometown of Darwin, only to discover her mum has disappeared and their journey to find her takes them to a number of stunning Northern Territory locations.

“As soon as I read the script I started Googling some of the locations that were listed in the story: Kakadu, Katherine, Tiwi. I was bowled over by what I saw,” he said.

“Katherine was quite striking; we all arrived super early in the morning knowing that we needed to get to the location by sunrise.

“We set off on boats down the gorge while it was still dark and as the sun rose it illuminated this incredible landscape; we were all sat on the boat in silent awe.”

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Gwilym Lee.

Lee said the filmmakers had an open and honest conversation with the traditional owners, which allowed them to film parts of the country that no-one gets to see.

“For instance we went to Hawk Dreaming, first rock in Kakadu and even Miranda who’d grown up in the area had never seen it before because it’s sacred land; it was an incredible privilege being there,” he said.

Lee said he was lucky to meet Tapsell when he first read the script in 2017 while she was on holiday in London.

“She very kindly spent a morning with me reading some of the scenes and we were sparking off each other and playing around with the script straight away,” he said.

“It was great as a rom-com really relies on that central relationship and you have to believe in that chemistry.

“Miranda has an infectious energy and I was really taken by her drive and the fact that she has something that she wanted to say, a story that’s so connected to her personal experience.

“You immediately want to get onboard and support that and be a part of it because it’s inspiring.”

Miranda Tapsell and Gwilym Lee with the cast of Top End Wedding.

Lee, Tapsell and director Wayne Blair took the film to the Sundance Film Festival in the US earlier this year.

“We were kind of intrigued to see how it would go down because it felt like there was some quite specific Australian humour in there, but actually people related to it immediately,” he said.

“I think people understand the themes of family and home and relate it to their own experience as I did as a Brit when I first read the script.

“You can also relate to the relationships of a mother and daughter, father and daughter and grandparents.

“And with the brilliant bridesmaids in the film, you might not understand the specifics of all of the slang that they speak but you can understand the chemistry and the friendships that they have.”

Top End Wedding is in cinemas May 2.

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