Bad Boy Bubby actor Nicholas Hope: distributors are scared to back brave Australian films
Nicholas Hope, who played the lead role in Australian cult classic Bad Boy Bubby, has said that film distributors are “frightened” to back “brave” Australian films.
Hope told Encore: “There are Australian film-makers out there who are doing daring things. It’s difficult to say if they are being brave enough. The one thing holding them back is distribution.”
“There are brave films out there that just can’t get cinema release,” he said.
Hope named Bad Boy Bubby in his list of the three bravest Australian films ever made, along with Chopper and Wake in Fright.
“Distributors are frightened of taking on another local film. So it’s very difficult for indie films, which don’t have large budgets and aren’t presented in a certain way, to find an audience.”
In the year Bad Boy Bubby was released, in 1993, the Rolf de Heer-directed film was outperformed at the box office by two other popular Australian classics, Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
“All three films were adventurous – but not in the same way as Bubby,” Hope said.
“And all three films found an audience. But whether they would today is questionable. Village Roadshow [Bad Boy Bubby’s distributor] kept Bubby running when it was not making money. They simply wanted the film to reach an audience. That would not happen now.”
New ways of distributing films could change the game for emerging Australian film-makers, he added.
“In the next few years, I’m sure it will be possible to make money from films distributed through new technologies. It’s an area that I’m fascinated and excited by,” he said.
Hope said that he wasn’t averse to appearing in TV commercials, but would not endorse some products. “There are various things I wouldn’t want to advertise. I would not appear in an for a fast food brand, or a product that was associated with child labour,” he said.
He added that he would like to do more than act; he is currently touring with theatre production The Mousetrap in the role of Major Metcalf.
“I would love to go into content production. I’ve made one short film, which was fabulous fun. And I have a number of ideas. But I’m terrible at dragging ideas from the format use – prose – into film. As yet haven’t been able to convince anyone to let me produce or direct my scripts,” he said.
Hope wrote and directed the short film Complicity.