John Jarratt is Quentin Tarantino’s favourite Australian actor. If you need more than that, he is a successful actor who has carved out a long career in both film and television, but he will always be best known as outback serial killer Mick Taylor in the Wolf Creek films. As the series of the same name comes to Blu-ray, John took some time to chat to us and offer his unique thoughts on Mick’s personality, horror films and Game of Thrones.
STARBURST: Did you ever think you’d be putting Mick’s hat back on?
John Jarratt: Only if the script was any good, and it is. I was more than happy.
Was there anything in particular that drew you back, as the format of the series is very different to the films?
To be honest, Greg rang me and said he had an idea about putting Wolf Creek on a streaming channel. I thought maybe it was a bit gratuitous just to troop Mick out again, but after looking at the scripts I had to eat my words. They were really good and it did lend itself to television. This is really a revenge story about Lucy Fry’s character. I just turn up occasionally to give everyone their horror fill.
Mick does seem to be enjoying himself.
Mick’s always enjoying himself, getting a bizarre pleasure from it all. That’s what being a psychopath is all about. In the movies he lets some of his victims go, like a cat lets a wounded mouse go. He plays a game the entire time.
Why do think he’s become such a popular cult figure?
I think that part of horror films is what a lot of people enjoy. That’s why we go on macabre scary rides – you can experience the danger without getting hurt.
How much of Mick’s success is down to Wolf Creek being set in Australia? Do you think it would work as well elsewhere?
He’s this mad, outback bruiser who just happens to be a serial killer. If you didn’t know anything else about him you’d enjoy a night in the pub with him; larger than life, give you his arsehole, shit though his ribs – that kind of guy. Little do you know you could walk out of the pub and he’ll cut your head off.
Has the way you approach the character changed at all over the years?
I haven’t changed him one tiny little scrap. He’s exactly the same as far as I’m concerned. He’s a very shallow human being, bouncing around the outback culling backpackers. He gets to play and have sex with them, which makes them a lot more fun than a kangaroo. He’s enjoying himself.
Do you think the six-episode format is more beneficial to a series like Wolf Creek?
That’s just taste, I suppose. There are people who watch crap like The Bold and Beautiful every damn day, or Game of Thrones. Bunch of wanker Shakespearean actors whispering at each other; not my kind of thing.
Are you a horror fan yourself?
I’m not a fan of Freddy Krueger or that sort of thing. I actually thought The Exorcist was one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen; all that green pea soup. I was on the floor laughing. I do like horror films, but ones like Wolf Creek and Psycho and so on, ones that could be based on something more real that could actually happen.
Thank you for your time today John.
No worries, thank you for your support.
Wolf Creek – The Complete First Series is released on Blu-ray on October 10th.