Four people answered our call for ‘one Caucasian actor, aged 25 to 35, not too tall, medium build, muscular, traditionally attractive, masculine looking’.
We ruled out half of that: one had his issues and preferred a film with dialogues. One had a completely wrong look – alternative grungy rock, with tatoos – we said ‘attractive, traditionally attractive, dude!’. Funnily, the remaining two were Matthews.
We were to meet our first Matthew at Brunetti’s, on City Square, on a Sunday afternoon at 6h. But the dumb place decided it would close at 6h15 that day, so we moved on to Fed Square before they kicked us out. That Matthew had been in quite a few short films, he was expressive with his face and eyes, handsome, even sexy, but he was not enough of a dancer for me. Flic was there, and asked him to learn a few simple tango steps; he struggled. And then, she asked him to interpret the footwork, first in a clumsy way, then in a seductive, assertive way. His middle body was weak and stuck, his hips didn’t sway. We were doubtful.
It was about a week before we met our other Matthew. Joy had been in charge of coordinating all e-mails, she told me that Matthew was very keen. And he lived in Ballarat, he would be coming all the way for an audtion, all the way for rehearsals, all the way for shooting. I thought, if he’s ready to do that, he’s motivated; and I never mind a bit of enthusiasm.
He was more than that. He was good, he was handsome, he was a bit rough, and had incredible knowledge of his own body. He’s a break-dance instructor, a real dancer: he got through Flic’s footwork in about a second. I then took him through the first scene, asking him to seduce me using various parts of his body, shoulders, hips, or legs. He did it, well. He was a bit young, sure, but it’s easy to fix, a touch of make-up – it was really the only thing wrong. I was relieved: I had a cow boy, now, to tango my Asian guy.