Kieren Hutchison portrays the enigmatic Robert Player in "No One Can Hear You"
- a suspenseful thriller filmed in New Zealand. He kindly answered a few questions
about his first feature film.
"No One Can Hear You" is your first feature film. Being an independent film we had to wait a long time for it to be released. How did you find out that it would finally be shown on the big screen and what was your reaction?
I was excited to see it on the big screen, 'cos I was expecting it to just turn up on video to be honest. I found out when I was living in Sydney last year and I was invited to go to Taupo for the premiere.
How did you like your first premiere party? From the photos on the Film Knights Website it looks like you and the others were having a good time.
It was fun. A nice road trip from Auckland with Kate, Emily and my buddy Dean O'Gorman who came along for the ride. It was all on a small scale, the local radio station ran a competition, we signed posters, talked to people before and after the screening. Taupo's got some good bars too, so we got to go out and have a few drinks afterwards.
Is it different for you to watch yourself on the big screen compared to seeing yourself on TV?
Yeah, it's pretty confronting. There you are - massive - and you can't escape it! You can stop thinking about it being you after a while though, and just enjoy the story. Especially after a year or so has passed since you made it.
You did not have any actual dialogue scenes with either Kelly McGillis or Barry Corbin. Did you get a chance to meet them at all on the set?
Absolutely, everyone gets to meet at the first readthrough of the script. There were plenty of times we were all on set on the same day even if we weren't in the same scenes. I was fascinated to meet Kelly McGillis, I remember her well from Top Gun and The Accused etc, so it was interesting to chat to her about what she's been up to. Barry Corbin was great, larger than life in many ways. I acted as an unofficial tour guide for him one weekend, showing him around some of Auckland's nightspots.
For the first half of the film your character has little interaction with other people. Was it difficult for your to act without the reactions of others to respond to?
It was a challenge to keep things fresh and real when so many of those earlier scenes were ten or fifteen seconds each. I had to make sure I wasn't just doing the same thing or it would get repetitive. At the same time the main direction John Laing gave me was to look "enigmatic" which is not easy to do many different ways! But the audience had to be unsure of Robert's motives and thoughts....
Near the end of the film your character was hanging upside down from the ceiling. That must have been unpleasant. For how long were you required to stay like that?
I only hung upside down for the close up where I'm getting the flashlight pointed at my face. The rest of the time when you see me in the background of Tom and Kate's scenes...it's a stuntman. Very nice of him to go through all that discomfort for me, huh?
What was it like to see yourself get shot on the big screen like that? And how often did you have to shoot this scene? (It sure looked frightfully realistic to me!)
That was awesome, I really enjoyed getting shot onscreen. It goes back to playing as a kid, pretending to take a bullet, by the time I shot the movie I'd had a lot of practice. We did it twice I think, the first time it looked like my arm had been blown off, so we had to go again with less of an explosion. The squib is a small explosive with a metal backing that is taped to you under your clothes. It kind of hurts when it goes off actually, and it's real loud, so there's not much acting required!
Has anything interesting or funny happened on the set that you would like to share with us?
I dunno...I had a big ass pimple on my nose for a couple of the telephone scene close ups....I guess that's pretty funny! The poor makeup people had to work overtime.