This Spring, Adelaide’s quaint, idyllic hills will become the setting for Touch, a sinister mystery thriller from award winning writer and director, Christopher Houghton. The story of a woman and her young daughter on the run, Touch brings together a big and talented cast, including Matt Day, Leeanna Walsman and Shane Connor. Glam Adelaide caught up with Matt Day, the star of productions such as Rake, Paper Giants and Muriel’s Wedding, to chat about the film and its sleepy Adelaide setting.
Your film, Touch, is set in the Adelaide Hills. What’s the film about?
Well it’s a film noir, I think. It’s about a woman who has committed a crime and is on the run, and it appears that she’s kidnapped her daughter. And there’s myself, an ex-cop, who’s on her trail. We don’t know what the connection is between the two of them. She ends up in a small, sleepy town staying in a strange motel, and begins a torrid affair with a local cop. Meanwhile, I’m getting closer and closer.
You’re an ex-cop in the film ﹣ what is your character like?
There aren’t a lot of clues along the way! When I read the script, one of the things I really liked about it was that I wanted to know what was going on. It’s a real page-turner, which you don’t often get, so it’s a mystery that slowly unravels.
There are clues along the way as to who these people are and what their relationship is, but for the first three quarters of the film I’m single-mindedly trying to find this woman and her daughter. There’s definitely a feeling I could be a real threat to Dawn, the woman on the run.
Why did you choose this film?
I was reading the script, it was really well-written. There’s some great twists in there which I didn’t see coming, and look, I’m a sucker for a good noir.
Do you usually work on films like this, or is this different for you?
Actually, the last movie I shot in Adelaide, which was 16 years ago, was not dissimilar. It was a road movie kind of thriller, ‘Kiss Or Kill’. So… yeah… the only films I ever do in Adelaide are film noirs!
What do you do to get into character? Is this character quite different to what you usually portray?
Oh look, I’ve been working for such a long time now that there’s not any one type of character, I think I’ve kind of crossed them all. But for me, there’s certain preparation you can do. I’m reading a lot of noir at the moment; I watched a few genre films to get a good idea of the world I’ll be working in. My approach is, as long as you know what’s happening within each scene and what your character has to achieve in each scene, you’re good to go.
The film’s cast is quite packed with stars ﹣ such as Leanna Walsman, Shane Connor, Greg Hatton ﹣ what’s it been like working with them?
Well I haven’t had a lot to do with either of them yet! A lot of my stuff is on my own, because I’m on the road; meanwhile this other storyline is playing out in the hotel while I’m tracking them down. I’ve worked with Leeanna before, she’s a fantastic actress. We’ve got some quite intense scenes coming up in the next couple of weeks, so I’m looking forward to it.
You mentioned that the last film you shot in Adelaide was 16 years ago. What’s it been like coming back here to Adelaide? Have you had much other experience here?
I really enjoy spending time here, especially in the city area. It’s not dissimilar to Melbourne, where I grew up. There always seems to be really interesting stuff going on, I enjoy spending time here!
I imagine you have quite a busy schedule at the moment, what else are you working on at the moment?
Well I recently finished ‘The Outlaw Michael Howe’, a movie that Brendan Cowell directed, and I just finished season 3 of ‘The Rake’. That’s coming out next year, I think. That’s it, really!
Touch is currently in production.
Photography by twentyfourb.com