FOR WA born actor Trevor Jamieson, playing Fingerbone Bill from the iconic Australian story Storm Boy was a boyhood dream come true.
“As a kid in the 80s, I remember watching the 1976 film and seeing David Gulpilil for the first time as Fingerbone Bill – he has an amazing magical energy and I said, I want to be like him,” he said.
“I was amazed at this story of this kid and this pelican because that’s sort of how I grew up.”
“My family is from the bush and they told all these stories of how to live alongside the land and to have a relationship with the world and the animals around you.”
Before appearing as Fingerbone Bill in the new film adaptation of the 1964 book by Colin Thiele, Jamieson first had the opportunity to play the character on stage in the Barking Gecko Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company production in 2013.
“They are two different roles being on stage and being in front of the camera,” he said.
“When you’re on stage you have to amplify the way you perform so people can hear you at the back whereas in the film, you’ve got the barrel of the lens looking at you and it picks up everything so you can afford to be quite subtle.
Jamieson said one of the main messages of the film is family.
“It’s about how to be close to your family, how to not disregard your family,” he said.
“Hopefully when people watch the film they will go on this journey of family with the characters and think about how to love their own family and spend quality time with them.”
The film is set in the Coorong in South Australia and Jamieson’s first step in preparation for the role was to contact the custodians of the land.
“Before we started filming I started speaking the language, I was given some lessons by the elders of the Ngarrindjeri tribe,” he said.
“There was a bloke named Uncle Moogy who helped me do the dance, to understand about the stories, the song lines and the significance of the places.
“The elders came and saw the film the other day and they were in tears and it was sort like we got their approval.”
Storm Boy is in cinemas from January 17.