John Jarratt

The legendary Australian actor talks Stan Original Series Wolf Creek season two, and his return as the iconic murderous bushman Mick Taylor, plus all things fashion, as he suits up for his magnificent MAXIM makeover…

What did you enjoy most about your MAXIM fashion shoot, John?
The shoot location – a beautiful park in Birchgrove [in the inner west] overlooking Sydney Harbour.

What is your favourite outfit here?
I liked the check suit – fairly outrageous for me, but I think it suited me. Pardon the pun.

Are you a bit of a fashionista?
Absolutely not. You don’t get raised in the bush with an understanding of Armani. My beautiful wife Rosa, on the other hand, is an immaculate dresser. I often call myself “John by Rosa”.

How else would you describe your fashion style?
Top shelf. Whatever is on top of the shelf is usually what I put on.

Nice. What do you look for in a suit?
Rosa’s nod of approval. However, it’s got to be blue or black.

What’s the most expensive item in your wardrobe?

My Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo.

And the most embarrassing item?
A T-shirt with “Passing Winds Yacht Club” written on it.

What’s the last piece of clothing you threw away?
A beautiful pair of Italian ankle-length leather sneakers. I had them for six years and the sole was finally irreparable.

What’s the worst outfit you’ve ever worn in your life?
A gay mate of mine made me a flowing green silk suit which I wore to the 1975 AACTA-type awards. I looked like something out of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

What clothing would we mostly find John Jarratt wearing day to day?
In summer it would be baggy shorts, roomy T–shirt or short sleeve cotton shirt and Husqvarna thongs.

Our readers can’t actually see it here but your left arm was in a cast for this shoot. How did you injure it?
I was carrying a heavy old fashioned wardrobe sideways and the heavy-mirrored door flew open and crashed down and broke my forearm.

Besides the arm, do you have any other scars that tell a story?
The right arm has a pin in the wrist from dropping a motorbike 15 years ago and I also broke my elbow.

Jeez, mate. For those who don’t know much about you, how would you best describe yourself?
I’m an easy-going, family-orientated, fun-loving bloke who takes his work seriously but not himself seriously.

You’re a great Australian thespian. Did you always want to be an actor?
I’ve wanted to be an actor since I was 15. I was in a concert at Longreach High Queensland and the headmaster was impressed with me and persuaded me to become an actor.

What do you love and hate most about your job?
I love my job. I can hardly wait to get up in front of the camera and love grabbing a character and bringing it to life. I don’t like whingers — you’re on a movie, it’s a privilege, stop whinging.

What’s it like to hop back into the boots of Mick Taylor for season two of Wolf Creek? Is it kind of unpleasant?
Nah, I enjoy myself. Mick has a ball — he’s always playing with backpackers and winning. It’s fun for him. Not much fun for the actors playing the victims and every day having to play horrified and in agony.

How do you get into Mick Taylor character mode?
It’s easy now because I really know the character. The first time was hard — I’m a family man and this kind of man is anathema to me. I still don’t understand him, so I play his justification.

It must be fun to deliver some of the dialogue Mick gets to say. What’s been your favourite line to date?
There are lots of them, but you can’t go past, “I could tell ya… but I might have ta kill ya.”

This season sees Mick following an outback tour bus with 13 unwitting tourists aboard. What else can Wolf Creek fans expect?
Last series it was between Mick and a young American girl. This time Mick kidnaps a bus load of tourists and leaves them lost in the middle of the desert. It’s like a bus load of mice being flung into the desert and Mick’s the cat. Smorgasbord.

How do you think you’d go if you were being tailed by a bloke like Mick?

How would I go? As fast as I could is how I would go! If it was between him and I in the desert I’d last five minutes or as long as Mick wanted me to last.

Do you prefer to play the good or bad guy in a film or TV series?
Bad guy is always much more fun. So many more levels, underhandedness, no empathy and there’s always room for good comedy with evil bastards. I love to get laughs.

What do people most often say to you when they recognise you in public?
“You scared the shit out of me!” or “the bejesus out of me!” They say it because it’s true. Not literally, otherwise I’d have found the cure for constipation.

What’s been your greatest life achievement so far?
To be the best person I can possibly be, every day, for my wife, family, friends and anyone for that matter.

It’s easy to handle the accolades but how do you deal with the negativity from the media?
Negativity is never my problem, others do suffer it. It’s a waste of time. If you do the best you can, negativity is not part of it.

You have many connections in the film industry, especially a big fan of your work in Quentin Tarantino. What’s the biggest misconception about Hollywood?
That Malibu is a beautiful piece of coastline – it’s Palm Beach Sydney without the greenery. It has crappy beaches and no Pittwater like Sydney does.

Being MAXIM, we have to ask you about women. What’s something men will never understand about women?
That when they’re right, they’re right, and when they’re wrong, they’re right. Accept this and you’ll be fine.

Finally, being a legendary Australian, what wise advice can you pass onto our readers?
Two things, from my Dad, “Expect
nothing from no-one and you will never be disappointed.” And from my Mum, the nicest person ever, “Why can’t people just be nice? It’s easier.” ■

Check out the new season of Stan Original series Wolf Creek on Stan now


For the full article grab the October 2017 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.

Jami-Lee Boyle

Zita Vass