Actors Equity’s fight to prevent more work opportunities for foreign actors in Australian film and television is a complicated one, according to actor Steve Curry (Cloudstreet, The King).
“It’s a tricky argument. I agree we need to see more Australian faces on Australian television but it’s also hard from the other side of the coin, with all these Australians who are succeeding so well overseas.
“Without other countries allowing them to ply their wares over there they wouldn’t be allowed to do so.”
“But it’s a tricky argument. I don’t know if there are any easy answers to it.”
Equity rules already allow for international actors to play roles in Australian productions, with limitations. But The Office of the Arts has drafted the proposal to lift the ceiling, without industry consultation.
After recent protest meetings in Sydney and Melbourne, the union has not ruled out industrial action if an acceptable outcome is not resolved.
“I think if there’s a role that’s specifically designed for an American or an English person and they’re the right person for the job then great,” says Curry.
“But the last thing we want to see is Poms or Yanks over here trying to pretend to be Australians, because as we know they do shithouse accents.”