Thursday, April 18, 2013

Supanova Supastar-Guest: Andy Mackenzie

Looking through Andy Mackenzie’s resume is like looking through a gang lord’s rap sheet.

Mackenzie has played all types of bad guy imaginable, from drug dealers through to thieves and everything in between. Currently in Australia to promote his latest film – Sushi Girl, which has him playing perhaps one of the most intense bad guys he has yet to play, Mackenzie takes the time out to talk to Rachel Barnes about being typecast and getting to work alongside the actors behind some of Hollywood’s most iconic characters.

Mackenzie has been switching from television to films and back since the beginning of his career. Even though he has worked on some massive television shows from Big Bang Theory toTrue Blood, Mackenzie says the strict scheduling of TV work is not his cup of tea.

“Film stuff is more fun for me, especially in a role like Sushi Girl where it’s kind of a big chunky role so I can actually collaborate with the writer and the director and kind of make something cooler than what is on the page, as opposed to TV where you just want to do it and get out,” he says. “So I enjoy film stuff more.”

Despite the constant movement between the two mediums one thing has remained the same. Mackenzie definitely looks like a bad guy and he has used that to his advantage, playing some of the baddest characters on screen.

“I love playing the bad guy ‘cause it’s so not me so it’s fun for me. I get into some weird dark zone and pretend,” he laughs.

Although it is unusual to find an actor who likes being typecast, Mackenzie is an exception to the rule.

“I am typecast right now at this point and I don’t mind,” he says. “My hair’s long and you can’t really mistake me so when you need somebody like that they call me. It’s kind of a choice that I’ve made so until something comes up that they need to shave my head and clean my face up then I can do whatever. It’s been working well so I don’t know why I would want to change it up.”

And he’s right. Mackenzie achieves possibly his best work yet as one of the lead characters in a film that has taken the film festival circuit by storm – Sushi Girl. Despite an R18 rating on the film Mackenzie didn’t hesitate to commit to the film.

“I picked up the script and I think I got to about page three and I sent them an email saying “I’m in!,” he laughs. “As an actor like this there’s always a project that you’re waiting for or you’re looking for or you’re hoping that something like this will come along. And this came along.”

Mackenzie is not surprised that reviewers are comparing the films’ director – Kern Saxton to Tarantino.

“This is absolutely in that same vein. Kern is weird like that so he’s going to have a great career that’s starting with this movie,” he says.

Mackenzie was so keen on the role that when he signed on there was nobody else in the cast. In fact, the films’ director, writers, and producers were going to film the whole movie over one weekend with friends just for fun. However as the film picked up more and more attention, the cast quickly began to fill with several big name actors. The group spent over a year together getting to know each other before filming even began.

“When we were about to shoot we had seriously gotten my icon dream. It’s me walking into a room where I’m surrounded by Candyman, Luke Skywalker, Atreyu, Frank the Bunny, Lawn Mower Man, Machete, Kyle Reese… this is like ‘woah’,” he laughs. “And here I am, nobody, and I gotta be this badass around all these badasses. So it was a lot of fun and it was pretty cool.”

The cast and crew became one big family over the process and Mackenzie says everyone is excited about meeting up in Australia.

“They’re my best friends right now, I see them every week and it’s been three years since we started talking about this movie,” he says.

This will be his first time in Australia and he simply can’t contain his excitement, but you won’t find Mackenzie cuddling any koalas.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do but I’d love to do some shark diving,” he laughs.

You can catch Andy Mackenzie with entire cast of Sushi Girl at Gold Coast Supanova on April 19-21. Don’t forget to check out the film at the Gold Coast Film Festival on Friday April 19 and Saturday April 20 at 9pm.

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