AACTA-award winner Michael Caton reflects on the success of Last Cab to Darwin
It was one of the most richly deserved and hardest earned awards at this year’s AACTA awards ceremony.
Michael Caton – best-known as Uncle Harry from the 1970s super-soap The Sullivans and, more recently, as Darryl Kerrigan from the classic 1997 Aussie comedy The Castle – took the Best Actor award for his moving performance as Rex, a cancer-stricken cab driver in Last Cab to Darwin.
The film tracks Rex’s cross-continent drive from Broken Hill to Darwin, where he hopes to take advantage of new euthanasia laws and end his life on his terms.
Directed by Jeremy Sims, who co-wrote the screenplay with playwright Reg Cribb (adapted from his hit play), the film’s production shoot followed Rex’s actual route up the spine of the Outback.
Sims and Caton hit the hustings hard to sell the film – and it worked. Released in August, Last Cab to Darwin went on to take around $7.4 million at the box office.
In this interview, Caton reflects on the success of the film and on the arduous production, which saw him inhale an unhealthy number of flies.
He believes the film’s appeal to an older demographic, its topicality and sensitive treatment of euthanasia made it the right film at the right time. He hopes the film contributes to the public discussion on the right to die.
Having also appeared in the successful 2004 Paul Hogan comedy Strange Bedfellows, Caton modestly acknowledges his good fortune with hit films, though laments, with a laugh, over his lack of work.
Last Cab to Darwin is now out on DVD and Blu-ray.
For the Michael Caton interview, please click here: