Aaron Glenane in ‘Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan.’
Aaron Glenane is honoured to be among the 10 finalists for this year’s Heath Ledger Scholarship, which will be announced by Australians in Film (AiF) on Friday local time.
“It’s very moving to have the support of AiF and the industry behind you,” the actor tells IF from the Toronto set of his current production. “That says, ‘You’re doing all right, keep going.’”
The fellow finalists for the $US30,000 Scholarship are Harvey Zielinski, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Ezekiel Simat, Gemma Bird Matheson, Kipan Rothbury, Brenna Harding, Bethany Whitmore, Charmaine Bingwa and Nicholas Denton.
Arguably Glenane is doing rather better than all right after scoring roles this year in his current project, Kriv Stenders’ Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, Rachel Griffiths’ Ride Like a Girl and Drunk History, Eureka Productions’ half-hour comedy which screened during Network Ten’s Pilot Week.
“My career has been on a gentle incline,” he says modestly. “I have learned how to balance patience with determination.”
He will next be seen in Nash Edgerton’s Mr Inbetween, the six-part drama written by and starring Scott Ryan, which will premiere on Foxtel’s showcase on Monday October 1 at 8.30pm.
Glenane plays Matt, a weasel-like drug dealer who has unresolved business with Ryan’s hitman Ray Shoesmith in the series produced by Michelle Bennett for Jungle Entertainment and Blue-Tongue Films. He’s a huge fan of Edgerton and Ryan, whom he dubs “the masters of mayhem.”
The US network FX and Foxtel have co-commissioned the development of a second series and he says the ending of the first series leaves plenty of loose ends for his character.
In Stenders’ Vietnam War movie he plays Captain Morrie Stanley, a Kiwi who served as a forward scout for the artillery regiment. Glenane was amazed at how Stenders and DOP Ben Nott captured so many big action scenes involving tanks, helicopters and explosions.
The director tells IF he cast Glenane after admiring his work in numerous projects including writer-director Damien Power’s debut film Killing Ground, which co-starred Aaron Pedersen, Harriet Dyer, Ian Meadows and Maya Strange.
“Aaron has a real screen presence and chemistry. He brought to the role emotional depth, humour and empathy,” says Stenders, who describes the production, which co-stars Travis Fimmel, Luke Bracey and Richard Roxburgh, as the biggest and most complex challenge of his career.
Glenane thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with Stenders and screenwriter Stuart Beattie, who spent a week on the set, observing that both were open to incorporating the actors’ ideas in the script.
Proud of Killing Ground as a small gem, he hails Power as a master storyteller and says he learned heaps from Pedersen.
He plays Patrick Payne, one of Michelle Payne’s nine siblings in Ride Like a Girl, which stars Teresa Palmer as the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup in 2015. Patrick was a former jockey who became a successful trainer. The plot deals as much with the trials and tribulations of the family – Paddy Payne (Sam Neill) raised the kids as a single parent after his wife died – as Michelle’s racing endeavours, he says.
Griffiths encouraged the cast to do a lot of long, rolling takes without cutting, which Glenane relished because there was was no loss of momentum.
The actor whose credits include Molly, Drift, Deadline Gallipoli and Puberty Blues had fun playing Dan Kelly, one of Ned Kelly’s cross-dressing brothers in Drunk History.
In FremantleMedia Australia/Foxtel’s Picnic at Hanging Rock he had the pleasure of working with Natalie Dormer and Yael Stone, cast as Reg Lumley, the brother of Stone’s uptight teacher Dora Lumley. “It was a masterclass in acting watching those two,” he said.
Another highlight was working with Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett in Truth, James Vanderbilt’s newsroom drama chronicling the 60 Minutes investigation into President George W. Bush’s military service which cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers.
He framed one day’s call sheet which listed his name along with Redford and Blanchett. Glenane is in Toronto shooting a TV series but the producers won’t let him talk about it.