Matt's Movie Reviews logo
Custom Search


Daniel Frederiksen, Ten Empty


MATTHEW PEJKOVIC: Ten Empty was your debut lead film role. How does film acting differ from the worlds of theatre and television acting, which you have become accustomed to?

DANIEL FREDERIKSEN: I guess the difference that I felt with it - especially with this experience - was that it was a bit more like doing a co-op theatre production, in a sense that everyone is on the same page. There was very little money so everyone was doing it for love as supposed to money. Being the lead in it came with a little bit of pressure. If you are not at all likeable or if the audience doesn't like your character or at least understands him, then the whole experience as a movie goer can be boring. So there was that sort of pressure. But over all it was such a lovely experience to work with really nice people who want to be there and help each others performances.

MP: There are many tense, dialogue driven scenes throughout the film. Was their much in the way of rehearsal before filming?

DF: Yeah, which I think is quite rare for such a low budget film. Tony (writer/director Anthony Hayes) insisted that we have a couple of weeks of rehearsal. So we got to go to all of the locations, and go over all of the scenes before hand and build a basic kind of map amongst us on how the film was gonna carry out, which was incredibly helpful.

MP: With Anthony Hayes and (co-writer) Brendan Cowell actors themselves, were they open to suggestions in terms of character development on your behalf? Was it a free flowing, collaborative environment, or strictly by the script film making?

DF: It was very collaborative and free flowing. And I think I have got to be the first to admit that the character of Elliot was the least fleshed out of all of the other characters, so I had no idea what I was doing and I think that those guys didn't really have an idea on exactly what he wanted to be as well. So it became a process of trying to figure it out together.

MP: You have stated that you found it tough to identify with your character. Is that still the case?

DF: Yeah. I mean, sometimes as an actor you read stuff and the character just leaps off the page. You know exactly who they are and you've got a particular idea on how you should be playing it. And other times you read stuff and you've got no idea who this person is or how they work. I kind of was doing a basic interpretation of what I got off the script, and I think it was fortuities that those guys saw qualities in me that they thought would work well with the character of Elliot.

MP: The suburbs have long been a favourite setting for film and television productions in Australia. Why do you think that is?

DF: Well a lot of people come from suburbia. It's a large part of our culture and our environment spending time in those areas. Plus, with budget constraints and everything else, Australian filmmakers have to go, "Well, I do want to set this in a big city and have big shops" and what not, but they just can't afford them. So you end up bang in a house in suburbia, and try to make the best with what you can. So I think it is a combination of a lack of money for filming and an interest in those kind of characters and that world that most of us come from, or at least have some ties to.

MP: After Ten Empty, you scored a supporting role in Ghost Rider. What was that experience like?

DF: Well, that was actually before Ten Empty. It was good, a 6 month holiday where I got paid for the entire six months and only worked for about a month. So it was great! I got to hang around on set and chat to Peter Fonda, so it was awesome.

MP: Did he share any Easy Rider stories?

DF: Yeah, he was very forthcoming. He was great!

MP: And in Ten Empty you shared screen time with another legend in Jack Thompson. What was he like to work with?

DF: He was great. Really generous, supporting… I think Jack Thompson is in a position in his career where he doesn't have to do budget films for equity rates. But he believed in the project and was involved in it from early on. He really liked those boys (Anthony Hayes and Brendan Cowell) and really liked the script so he stuck with it. And he is a really sweet guy, a really nice guy. Down to Earth, relaxed, and he talked about important things, such as indigenous issues. He is an old hippie, really.


Created and Edited by Matthew Pejkovic / Contact:
Logo created by Colony Graphic Design / Copyright © Matthew Pejkovic