We recently got a chance to talk to actor Craig Arnold, one of the leads in Lindsay Mackay’s upcoming film Wet Bum before it’s debut at the Toronto International Film Fest. In this interview Craig tells us a little bit about this coming of age picture, his take on his character Lukas, what drew him to this role, and he even shows us a little bit of his geeky side with what genre films he’d like to do in the future.
Check out this interview to learn more about the film Wet Bum and this up and coming talent!
Your next film Wet Bum is opening at TIFF, can you tell us a little bit about its story and the ideas it is aiming to share?
Its coming of age story about a fourteen year old girl named Sam who has to worry about the darker realities of life through a relationship with her swimming instructor and with a man who lives at the retirement home she volunteers at. Its about the adolescent experience and growing up but also deeper things like love, loss, death.
What drew you to the script and the decision to tackle your particular role?
Well the script actually it wasn’t like a totally linear story like the good guys against the bad guys, it was really more exploratory with characters. There are these three characters, Sam who is the fourteen year old girl played by Julia Sarah Stone, Ed played by Kenneth Welsh and Lukas played by myself-the swimming instructor and its all kinda weaved. They all have their own problems, they’re all dealing with different issues at this point in their lives. Sam was dealing with growing up and not developing as quickly as she’d like, Andrew’s dealing with the death of his wife and how to move on from that. The script made me think and you can linger over it and it doesn’t all necessarily hit you at once. So I liked it in that way, it was more exploring some nice themes instead of being a spectacle.
Lukas seems like a morally complex character, were there any challenges in bringing him to life?
There’s parts of him that are nice and charming and enticing and parts of him that are darker. Kind of like ‘what the hell is this guy’s deal?’ Lindsay Mackay just wrote these really interesting characters. He was deep and not like anything I’ve seen before. The nice thing about having Lindsay as a writer and director was she knew the characters so well, she knew how she wanted them to come across so when we were filming it was great to just be able to talk to her. There’s no kind of hoops you have to jump through. It really was from Lindsay’s mind and she was really willing to collaborate which was great and it was quite original.
Were there any on-set discoveries about the character that maybe the director didn’t have in mind when she wrote him?
There are things I did that she didn’t expect from me and she was willing to go with it and meet in between. I think it was a great way to direct and learn from her and keep things loose and elastic and let the story come out in ways we didn’t expect and they’re probably gonna be the better parts of the movie. It was really nice and really fun and fresh.
Here at DG we like to mix it up and not just talk projects but also about the other things we are passionate about. Tell us what are you geeky about?
What I geek out the most over is blues music, the soul music. I’ve been obsessed with it since I first heard it when I was thirteen years old, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughn. I just love the music. I played in bands all throughout when I was a teenager. So yeah I guess maybe I’m a little obsessed with it.
Would you be open to doing a genre movie like Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Maybe be a Superhero?
Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones kind of thing would be amazing. With those I have so much respect for the actors and the writers and everyone involved just because they create their own worlds and the amount of research and commitment that goes in to learn that world. I would love to do it if the chance came along. That would be a lot of fun. I saw the Avengers movie, that was a great time. If I had to choose a superhero- I’d have to think what hasn’t been done yet. There’s so many great ones. The Christopher Nolan Batman films are amazing. It’s such a great level. I heard they were doing an Aquaman movie, that would be something I’d be into I think.
Clip from Wet Bum: