Tag Archives: Who Do You Think You Are?

Nakatomi Profile: Richard Mellick, Actor

13 Aug

Nakatomi Profile is a section featuring interviews with collaborators and artists we have worked with.

Who are you? What is your background?

I have no idea who I am.  I’ve been trying to work it out for 44 years but nothing has become clear yet. I’ve been a school kid, song writer, poet, actor, bushwalker, telemarketer, public servant, director, playwright, sleaze bag, single parent, and recently a grandfather!! Will that do?? My ancestral background is Lebanese and Irish. My professional background is dodgy and my personal background is Sydney, Broome, Fitzroy Crossing and now Perth. I worked in Indigenous theatre for ten years and toured to the most remote places in Australia. My son’s mother is from the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. I’m a middle class son of a doctor from Beecroft, Sydney.

What attracted you to Esoterica?

What attracted me?? Meeting Sam was a great moment because for some reason he believed I could play the role. Not many directors have this response to me.

Tell us about the role you played?
Making the film was so long ago i remember nothing about the role I played except the costume Sandy got for me. Oh, hang on, I remember this really sexy woman (mel) sitiing on my lap and slapping me. (I already knew Mel. We worked together on Lockie Leonard and I told her I wanted to have her baby. She didn’t believe me so we went to the tent and had breakfast instead)

Do you have a process?
I have a process and it always starts with 3 large joints….. only kidding—- 3 large pots of tea. I start by reading my the script. I know that sounds unusual but that’s what they told us to do at NIDA. Then, I pray pray pray that somehow the director will tell me what to do. If he/she doesn’t, I panic and usually end up on the cutting room floor.

What was the shooting like?
Shooting Estorica was probably the most bizarre experience of my life. I was doing Shakespeare In The Park playing an 80 year old man (Adam) and then going on set from 11pm until dawn. I would drive home feeling like someone had taken my brain out. And I was lucky! The crew did this for 5 weeks straight! The food was good and again Sam was too. He told me what to do and I just did it ( I think. Lets see on Sunday at the preview………)

What have you done since the shooting of ‘Esoterica’?
Since Estorica I have been to Bali, buried my father, split up with my girlfriend, watch my 18 year old son leave home and again, become a grandfather. Isn’t that enough??

Give us your top ten film performances and why.
Robert De Niro in everything he has ever done. Except that really dumb film where he plays a prison escapee. (I know Sam, that answer is such a cop out)

Robert DeNiro