Touch is a film that turns Adelaide’s peaceful, sleepy hills into something more sinister. A mystery thriller led by director Christopher Houghton, Touch brings together a big cast, including Matt Day (whom Glam Adelaide spoke to last week) and Leeanna Walsman, the star of Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones, Looking for Alibrandi, and Wentworth. Glam Adelaide caught up with Leeanna to have a chat about the film, its cast, and its Adelaide setting.
You’re working on Touch at the moment, what is the film about first of all?
It’s a thriller about a woman on the run; she’s committed a crime and we don’t know why. She’s being pursued by an ex-cop and she has a small child in tow. That’s the basis of it! There are lots of unexpected twists and turns and emotional rollercoasters. It’s really exciting and set in an unconventional format for a Thriller.
It’s not the usual way you perceive the genre… I feel like you’re surprised by what’s revealed to you and the type of film you realise you’ve been watching. It’s just unexpected in the story that it ends up telling, and the characters, and the type of film it is. Have you ever watched a film and at the end you’re like, “Oh my gosh! That’s what I’ve been watching?” That really excited me about the script.
And that’s why you chose the film?
Absolutely! And you’ve got a really strong female character, she’s a femme fatale but she’s not a victim, she’s not using her sexual innuendo, she’s just a strong lead character.
That sounds really refreshing, because so many lead female characters in films are really one-dimensional…
Absolutely! And also, it’s really hard to come across a female lead that’s in her 30s that’s strong, and not a victim of circumstance. It’s completely different to your obvious kind of stereotyping.
What was it like working with Onor Nottle, who plays your daughter in the film?
She’s just an incredibly intelligent, highly motivated, super energised little human being, beyond her years. I’m really excited for her; this is her first professional gig, and she’s been incredible. She’s very special on-screen. I think we’re all really aware that this is a really exciting period for Onor. For me, my first film was epic, it was pivotal. So, I hope that even if she’s just having a brief moment of what I experienced, then it’s worth it.
Is there much you do to prepare to get into character?
Every role has its different challenges, and I guess with this… I think I had to work on the concept of vulnerability. That’s not to say my character’s vulnerable, I’m just saying the idea of allowing myself to get in touch with the emotion of my character. There’s a lot going on in this piece that I had to become really confident and comfortable with, emotionally and physically.
You’ve worked in film, TV and theatre ﹣ how is working on a film like Touch different to, say, a stage production or a TV series?
They’re all really different, and I think budget has a lot to do with that. Theatre, I think, is one of the hardest jobs there is. People really underestimate how hard a theatre job is. I think, with something like Touch, you’re there because you want to be there. We’re making a piece, where everyone’s working towards the same goal. There’s not a huge amount of money, which means everyone contributes beyond what their title is. With bigger productions, you’re kind of babysat. With something like Touch, it’s up to you to fulfill what needs to be fulfilled to make it great.
You’ve spent a lot of time in Adelaide for the film, what’s your experience been like in our little city?
Well this is my third time in Adelaide, and this has been my best experience so far. I’ve always liked Adelaide, it’s always been really kind to me, but this is the first time I’ve seen Adelaide beyond the city, and it’s actually really beautiful. Everyone’s been really kind, and that’s kind of what makes a city.
What else do you have on the horizon?
At the moment, Touch is my priority. I’ve just been on a show called Wentworth, that’s just finished, and I’m going back to Sydney to work on a theatre project called Anaconda. That’s about it!
Touch is currently in production.