TAKE TWO – ALISTAIR BROWNING
By Debi Taylor
In the New Zealand drama Rain, Alistair Browning plays Ed, a loving husband and father whose marriage is collapsing around him. A professional actor since 1976, Browning’s television credits include Hercules, and Xena: Warrior Princess, and he can also be seen as Damrod in the next instalments of The Lord of the Rings.
What is your favourite black and white movie?
A cliche it may be, but Casablanca is still my fave.
If you could play any character in movie history, who would it be?
What is the best stage-to-film adaptation you’ve ever seen?
Chorus of Disapproval.
What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done in a movie theatre?
I do it every time, have a choc-dip icecream!
If you weren’t an actor what would you be?
What would you like to do in a film that you haven’t done before?
I’ve played villains, victims and heroes, I’ve been nude, rude and refined, but only in theatre and TV have I played comedy.
What is the best way to kill time on a movie set?
During Rain I learnt to meditate. Truly. It not only makes time fly but it prepares you very well for the next scene because you arrive refreshed and in a calm and empty space without preconceptions.
Who do you think should stop making movies?
Bill Paxton, Minnie Driver, Robin Williams, Sandra Bullock, Paul Verhoeven . . . ah hell, Hollywood.
If you were sent to a desert island with a DVD player, TV and power, what movie would you take?
The Wrong Trousers or preferably a DVD with all of the Wallace and Gromit films on it.
Most frightening moment on set?
First day on set on Lord of the Rings second unit on a large plain in Central Otago with hundreds of other horsmen in full battle mode. I am supposed to leap to my horse in front of the charging horde and gallop off with Faramir (David Wenham). Take One with several cameras rolling my horse decides he’s had enough and refuses to let me mount. Five hundred horsemen charging right at me, eyes wide and rolling, and I have to leg it as fast as I can go!
When was the last time you cried at the movies?
Don’t often cry at the movies because I am too aware of the artifice, but I remember being very moved by The Ice Storm.
Who has been your favourite co-star?
Elijah Wood is a very special person as were Alicia and Aaron who play the children in Rain. But I do have very fond memories of Tom Conti in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. He was extraordinarily generous as an actor and person.
Your career highlight so far?
Rain, without a doubt. Loved doing Lord of the Rings, but the subtlety and intimacy of Rain suited me to a T. Rain is now showing at Nova.