Hi, I'm John Jarratt, Aussie iconic actor. 40 years in the film business. Best known for Wolf Creek 1 and 2, recently appeared in Django Unchained, household name in Australia, I've done 40 films in my 40 years in the business and you'd be mad not to talk to me. Quentin Tarantino got off the plane to Australia in 2003 and said "I want to meet John Jarratt he's my favorite Australian actor."

And I cast Mel Gibson in his first film in 1976.

Wolf Creek 2 trailer

Victoria from reddit will help me get started, so go ahead, ask me anything.


Thanks for the honor of allowing me into your cyberspace. Hope we can do it again sometime. All the best, John Jarratt.

Comments: 99 • Responses: 25  • Date: 

cjarratt89 karma


john_jarratt83 karma

The world is not ready for you. The rest of the worlds not like Australians. They're not that disgusting. Behave yourself. I'm on show here you idiot.

MrMojoRisin30212 karma

Part of me was hoping the title would be 'John Jarratt, former host of Better Homes & Gardens'

How did Tatantino know of you in 2003, what movies of yours was he a fan of? Or was it your appearances on Blue Heelers?

john_jarratt15 karma

Funny with the Blue Heelers line... Tarantino knows more about Aussie films than anyone in the world including Australians. He particularly liked that film I did which I thought was shithouse called Dark Age. He has the only print of it in existence and plays it around the world occasionally. He liked my other work as well. He got off the plane in 2003 and said "I want to meet John Jarratt, my favorite Australian actor" and then I received a phone call asking me to go to the Kill Bill premiere in Sydney. Quentin wanted to meet me. I was six hours away and the film was about to start in an hour. So I had to decline. An hour later I received another phone call saying Quentin is really disappointed you can't come. He wants to have a drink with you in Sydney tomorrow night. Can you make it? And I looked at my diary.. no I didn't... and I said yes. And we went and had a few beers and I told him a thing or two about how to make movies.

mazariegoscimini11 karma

Hi john, will you take me to Australia?

john_jarratt14 karma

Only if you're young and juicy and edible.

mazariegoscimini14 karma

Well john, this just got awkward because I sir, am a man....

cjarratt16 karma

This would be more preferable for him. I assure you.

john_jarratt19 karma

I'll eat anything.

mazariegoscimini7 karma

I really want to go to Australia..Melbourne to be exact.......

john_jarratt11 karma

Well, if you really want to go to Melbourne Australia I suggest that you............go!

mazariegoscimini4 karma

I must! Are there any locations you recommend visiting in Melbourne?

john_jarratt22 karma

Do I look like a map? You might be aware of a device called Google. Give it a stab, type in Melbourne interesting sites. Things to do. Images. Go nuts.

15chainz9 karma

What did you think of Quentin Tarantino's Australian accent?

john_jarratt18 karma

This was very sad for me. I helped Quentin with his Aussie accent and he made a good fist of it. I was there for everything he said EXCEPT his very first line when he was getting something out of a saddlebag and he said "Shut up black" but he pronounced "black" bleck which is the South African way of saying it. So immediately everyone thought Quentin wasn't good at the accent. But if you watch it again, forget about the bleck and listen to the rest of it. He's pretty spot on.

zakbroman6 karma

Weirdest thing you saw Quentin and/or anyone else do while on set?

john_jarratt17 karma

Quentin came up to me in between takes and asked me if I knew the ballad of John O'Casey. I said I didn't. he said "you don't know the ballad of John O'Casey?! It's a famous Aussie ballad!" he then sang three verses and two choruses at the top of his lungs, entertained the cast and crew, finished the song and said "and that's the Ballad of John O'Casey!" and walked off. Upon which my partner Rosa remarked "that man is beautifully mad". And I think that describes him to a T.

zakbroman4 karma

Would you say you now know the Ballad of John O'Casey?

john_jarratt6 karma

No I was so astounded at what was happening in front of me, I really didn't take the song in. Not my idea of a great song. I'm more rock n roll. Irish ballads leave me cold. To be sure to be sure.

SuperScate6 karma

Hi John

Thanks for doing the AMA. You're a long time favourite actor of mine and I think your portrayal of Mick Taylor is terrifying. (Source: I'm from Alice Springs )

My questions are.... Excluding your name, what would you call your autobiography? And what actor would you want playing you in the movie version?


Ps. I look forward to seeing you and Kaarin Fairfax work together in StalkHer.

john_jarratt8 karma

My autobiography would be called "Face the Front and Go For the Laughs". There isn't an actor good enough to play me in the movie version.


Hey John Jarratt, first of all I'd like to say a big hello as a fellow Australian,I loved your performances in Wolf Creek, 100 Bloody Acres and Bad Behaviour just to name a couple, I have a few questions and I hope you get to them

  • How did you get into acting?

  • What was it like working with the cast and crew on Wolf Creek?

  • What was it like working with Mel Gibson in Summer City?

Thank you for giving us this opportunity, on behalf of this AMA I'd like to commend you on your amazing talents and wish you luck on your current and future projects mate

john_jarratt8 karma

I got into acting by putting a concert together at Long Reach High School Outback Queensland. I put myself in all the best bits and the head master said to me afterwards, "I didn't think you were good for anything. But I think you'd be a good actor." And I said don't you have to be born in Hollywood to do that? And he said, no anyone could be an actor. And in my experience that's true. But not many of them are any good.

Greg McLean the director of Wolf Creek is always brilliant with his casting. The cast on Wolf Creek 2 were fabulous. They gave as good as they got. And they got plenty, believe me. The crew was the best crew I've ever worked with. Usually on any crew there is an asshole or two, but everyone was fantastic on this crew. Really knew their stuff. That's why it's such a bloody good film. So go buy it, don't pirate it you thieving bastards.

Mel Gibson is a fabulous fellow. He's funny, intelligent and extremely talented. I cast him in Summer City when he was still an acting student. I saw him in a student play and he was amazing. I should have been a casting agent.

Greybeard294 karma

What's it like working with Samuel L Jackson in real life... Does he resemble some of the characters he portrays in his roles

john_jarratt10 karma

I didn't work with him. My scenes were with Jamie Fox and Quentin. Jamie Fox was a great guy. Very focused actor and not up himself at all. Most enjoyable person to work with. And Quentin, what can I say? He's amazing. He's beautifully mad. And I absolutely loved working with him.

jonemillard3 karma

Hey John, do you have anything memorable to tell about filming Australia?

john_jarratt4 karma

The first day on set was a huge scene. There were hundreds of extras. It was a night shoot and very difficult working conditions. Baz Luhmann was working his ass off. in the middle of all this, he asked me to come up with a line to describe what I was about to do. Then he had to go to the other end of this park to continue filming and I was waiting around. With all this going on, he came up with the line himself and had it sent back to me and it was the perfect line. That's why he's great.

chooter3 karma

What is your personal favorite type of film to act in?

What's your favorite place in Australia?

john_jarratt2 karma

I will work in any genre. I'm always waiting for the next good script. That's all I need. You need three things to make a film - the script, the script and the script. As long as it's good, I'll do it.

My favorite place is an island called believe it or not Scotland island in Sydney's northern beaches. It's in the middle of a beautiful harbor called The Pitwater. Google Earth it, it's fabulous.

chooter2 karma

Thank you!

Also: what are the biggest changes you've personally seen in the industry over your lengthy career?

john_jarratt3 karma

The basics are the same. You stand in front of a camera, they light you, the sound man mics you up. The clapper board goes in, they say "action" you act, they say "cut". That hasn't changed. In any movie no matter how big or small. Things that have changed are moving from film to digital, technology shrinking post-production from a three story building to three rooms. The fact that if you can find an uncle with 200 grand a bucket of blood a chainsaw and a shed in your backyard, you can make a movie. The downside is you bastards pirating my product. Stop downloading films and music for nothing or you'll kill us off and there'll be nothing to download except old movies and old music. If you could download a new BMW for nothing the bastard would soon do something about it, so help support the entertainment industry and put your hand on your credit card.

el_crunz3 karma

John, big fan. Just wondering your opinion on chorizo sausages?

john_jarratt5 karma

That's a spanish sausage. I play with the German sausage in Wolf Creek 2 and I found that kind of strange. I'm not at all homophobic but I am chronically heterosexual. So it was a weird moment in my acting career handling the German sausage. And if you wanna know what I'm on about people, go see Wolf Creek 2.

el_crunz3 karma

Thank you for your response. Sounds like you need more chorizo in your life though.

john_jarratt18 karma

You keep your Spanish sausage in your pants pal.

Enshu3 karma

Hi John,

Thank you for doing this AMA. My question is: For someone who has started their career in Australia how hard was it for you to segue into a film in another county?

Edit: Spelling error pointed out by comment below

john_jarratt2 karma

I didn't work in the states until 2010 when I did a film called Shiver in Portland, Oregon. And then Django in 2012. I haven't exactly taken over the joint. I'm lucky in that I'm an established actor in Australia. And the Quentin and Wolf Creek thing is starting to work in my favor. Just get yourself a hit movie and you'll be alright.

Reginald_Waterbucket3 karma

Hi John, I love your work and movies in general. What are some of the qualities that make great directors, in your experience? Any great stories of how a director helped make a great moment happen?

john_jarratt3 karma

A good director understands the big picture and the overview of the film. and also the intricacies. A good director will stay out of your face and let you do your work as a good actor until he sees something that you might find interesting to try. You either try it and say thank you for that or you say no that won't work. That's a good director.

The first great director I worked with was Peter Weir on Picnic at Hanging Rock in 1974, 40 years ago... (God I'm old). Peter set me down and we looked at some dailies. I found something and winked with recognition and the wink was huge. He explained that my face would be 35 foot wide in the cinema and just a little subtle wink will do. That was my first big lesson in film acting.

ckk5243 karma

After a tough day on set, what comfort food do you go for?

john_jarratt10 karma

What a weird question! Are you fat or something? I don't think about food when I'm finished work. I don't think about specific food if I'm hungry, I want to eat something. I don't care what it is I'm a bloke we don't care! If we're hungry, we want something to fill our stomach so we don't feel hungry. Then we're happy. How to please a man. Take care of his stomach and what hangs off it.

ckk5248 karma

Nope, not fat, just think food is the best way to figure out who someone is. We all need to eat and what we choose to put in our bodies tell a lot about us. I guess i can't blame you for not having any interest in food since vegimite is a staple in your country.

john_jarratt7 karma

I hate vegimite. But all jokes aside, I do eat very healthily. For no reason other than staging off old age. Ego does work sometimes.

turdodine3 karma

Is there any chance of you recording "Go the fuck to sleep" ?

john_jarratt7 karma

I will if you pay me. I'm a professional, that's what professional means. So sort out the gig mate and we'll do it.

D_J-ANGO1 karma

What do you think of my username?

john_jarratt1 karma

Well the word original doesn't spring to mind. What am I supposed to think? It's memorable. And good on you for getting it.

PandoraBlackBox1 karma

God bless ur father He seems to be a very passionated fearless man! So do u, logically ;-)

What do u expect from the audience in front of a screen with ur work?

Any phobia? Do u consider urself as a positive man?

What do u do in ur free time u have any!?


john_jarratt2 karma

I expect them to be entertained. That's another word we use for actor, entertainer. I expect the story to be told and if it's not, the film's usually a turkey.

I wouldn't like to be eaten by a great white shark from the legs up. That's my only phobia. Of course I'm a positive man, what are you getting at?? You saying I'm not positive?? This kind of comment makes me feel really down. Leave me alone you bastard. People like you are the reason I have to go into counseling. Stop asking obvious questions. Of course I'm positive!

I've got 6 children, 3 ex-wives, and a grandchild. What's free time?

PandoraBlackBox1 karma

Hello John, Thanks for the ama session

What a lifeway!

What s is the character u liked to play the most!? To which one t u the closest!?

What was the collaboration u liked the most? With who do u wanna work someday?

And finally , What was the best advice u ve ever been given in ur whole career , by whom?

Thanks a lot

john_jarratt5 karma

I like playing Mick Taylor the most and in a funny way he is the closest. Mick Taylor is an impersonation of my father who was a big boisterous easy going tough, funny outback guy. I hasten to add he wasn't a psychopath or a serial killer. I added those two bits to the character. I do a very good impersonation of my father. People who know him, know that's what I'm doing.

Again, working with Greg McLean on the two Wolf Creeks is the collaboration I liked the most. Greg is very inclusive and I was a part of the Wolf Creek 2 process years before we went into production. I did a lot of work with Greg on the script and discussions on what we wanted out of the film.

I don't care who I work with. As long as they can cut it. I can't wait to work with the next fabulous actor I come across.

Best advice I've ever been given is by my father. I live by a number of his quotes like "the only sure fire lottery is bloody hard work" and "expect nothing from nobody and you'll never be disappointed" "jump off the cliff with love and fuck the fear" are just a few of his sayings.