For anybody whose psychological pockets nonetheless holds a creased image of William McInnes in his full SeaChange glory, his look in The Newsreader will come as a shock. Bearded, bellicose and bullying, he’s nearly unrecognisable from his sexiest-man-on-television days – and unforgettable with it.
The facial hair was grown for the present, which is about in 1986, not for lockdown. “I can’t stand having beards, brother. I can not stand it,” he says. “It was the manufacturing’s suggestion. The thought was that he was imagined to be an enormous bear of a person.”
Even with out the angry-Santa beard, McInnes suits the outline nicely sufficient. However within the towering flesh, he’s a vastly completely different creature from Lindsay Cunningham, the bossman within the ABC’s wonderful six-part drama a few industrial tv information present, the bold sorts who workers it, and the large tales of the day – Lindy Chamberlain, the Challenger house shuttle catastrophe, AIDS, the Russell Avenue bombing – that they cowl.
Throughout a few hours spent at an out of doors desk on the Somers Normal Retailer, the air biting and the rain clouds threatening to spill on us at any second, McInnes regales me with impressions of everybody from Brian Henderson (the newsreader who handed away, aged 89, that morning) to Brian Moore (long-ago presenter of soccer program The Massive Match) and Brian Mills (Liam Neeson’s vengeful father within the Taken motion pictures). He does spot-on impersonations of the chief well being officers of Queensland, NSW and Victoria, and a terrific rendition of Josh Frydenberg making an attempt, and failing, to not sound drunk.
McInnes’ dialog follows no tracks, his humour is often blue, and he prefaces the odd anecdote with “I can’t say this” earlier than saying it anyway. He’s, briefly, hilarious firm.
McInnes is a born storyteller. Although it’s performing that made him well-known, he has written seven non-fiction books (memoirs largely), three novels, and numerous columns. So, does he consider himself extra as an actor or a author nowadays?
“I don’t know. I don’t have a clue,” he says. “I consider myself as a ponce who received fortunate in a manner.”
In The Newsreader, the 57-year-old is the embodiment of each bullying supervisor you’ve ever been unlucky sufficient to satisfy. After I inform him there’s an actual danger he’s stolen the present, he brushes it off. “You solely have to yell and put on braces. That’s all it takes.”