In the new movie ‘Breath,’ director Simon Baker didn’t care that his two young leads had never acted--as long as they could ride the waves. Baker is a surfer and actor himself--he spent years as the star of the CBS series ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Mentalist.’ He talks about taking a big leap with ‘Breath’--shot in a remote corner of his native Australia with lots of filming on wild waves in unpredictable weather. He also tells us about keeping his Aussie accent under wraps when he first started auditioning for American television.
FROM THIS EPISODE
- With AT&T’s upcoming acquisition of Time Warner, will there be a culture clash between the two very different companies?
- Now that the court approved the AT&T-Time Warner merger, the race is on to buy Fox. Comcast has already topped Disney’s initial offer, and Disney will likely come back with an even higher counter.
The new movie ‘Breath’ tells story of two teenage boys coming of age in a remote corner of western Australia during the 1970s.
Based on a novel of the same name by Tim Winton, ‘Breath’ follows the boys, Pikelet and Loonie, discovering a new passion: surfing. Pikelet, played by Samson Coulter, is more cautious than his aptly named friend Loonie, played by Ben Spence.
Early in the film, the boys encounter Sando, a bohemian one-time surfing legend who becomes a kind of guru to them. Sando is played by Simon Kaker, who also directed and co-wrote the film. ‘Breath’ is his feature film directorial debut.
If you ever watched the CBS series ‘The Guardian’ or ‘The Mentalist,’ you’re familiar with Baker’s work as a television actor. In ‘The Mentalist,’ he played former con man Patrick Jane--advisor to the California Bureau of Investigation. Jane would claim to be psychic while using keen observational skills to solve crimes.
You may have noticed in recent years that many leading men on american TV shows were not actually made in the USA. But when Baker started started auditioning for TV in this country, he tried to downplay that fact. He tells us why he would try to do the audition before anyone could catch his true accent, and about using all his time in TV as a film school for directing.
Plus, he shares what it was like to direct ‘Breath’ on a tiny budget, with intense weather, wild waves, and two leads who were acting for the first time. He also talks about how he handled the tricky relationship in the film between a young boy and a much older woman.
Simon Baker, actor, writer, director
More From The Business
For ‘Leave No Trace,’ director Debra Granik goes into the woods Debra Granik’s new movie, ‘Leave No Trace’ follows a father and daughter living completely off the grid, in the woods. Granik could have cast a big name to play the daughter, and perhaps gotten a bigger budget, but she says that’s not how her style of filmmaking works. Instead, she went with an unknown teenager from New Zealand.
Showrunner Courtney Kemp on ‘Power,’ the most-watched series on Starz Courtney Kemp, creator of the Starz drama ‘Power,’ is one of the few women of color running her own TV show. With the push for increased diversity in the industry, Kemp says it’s easier for networks to open their wallets than their hearts. As 'Power' returns for a 5th season, Kemp gets real about being a parent and a showrunner, and how she wishes her series had been marketed differently in earlier seasons.
Tim Wardle on making the twist-filled ‘Three Identical Strangers’ Tim Wardle was working at a production company in London when he first heard about identical triplets separated at birth in the 1960’s and adopted by three different families. The brothers knew nothing of each other’s existence until they were reunited by chance at age 19. Wardle talks to Matt Holzman about how he got to make the crazy story told in his new documentary ‘Three Identical Strangers.’
Banter update: John Lasseter to leave Disney following 'missteps' After a late Friday news dump, we re-banter about John Lasseter's departure from Disney, discuss why he had to go, and what this means for the world of animation. Plus, a look ahead to Tuesday's expected decision on the AT&T trial.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
In Malibu, a Section 8 voucher gives one man a place to live Malibu is known for ultra luxury housing, like celebrity beach mansions and hidden canyon estates. But one homeowner recently began renting a back house to the city’s first-ever Section 8… Read More
Sen. Kamala Harris on opposing Judge Kavanaugh California Senator Kamala Harris will vote against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and she will not change her mind. “A tiger can always change its stripes. But… Read More