The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

265 – Podcast Too Far Away: Max Cullen

Podcast too far away: Max Cullen on The Adelaide Show Podcast

This week’s episode of The Adelaide Show was recorded during the Adelaide Film Festival and we’re happy this podcast too far away attracted actor, Max Cullen.

Max got his feature film break in Sunday Too Far Away, and has since gone on to work on stage and in film and TV for many decades.

Also this week, the SA Drink Of The Week is from Hawkers Beer.

And please consider becoming part of our podcast by joining our Inner Circle. It’s an email list. Join it and you might get an email on a Sunday or Monday seeking question ideas, guest ideas and requests for other bits of feedback about YOUR podcast, The Adelaide Show. Email us directly and we’ll add you to the list: [email protected]

If you enjoy the show, please leave us a 5-star review in iTunes or other podcast sites, or buy some great merch from our Red Bubble store – The Adelaide Show Shop. We’d greatly appreciate it.

And please talk about us and share our episodes on social media, it really helps build our community. Oh, and here’s our index of all episode in one concise page

Running Sheet: Podcast too far away

00:00:00 Intro
That half of the croissant is yours
00:01:00 SA Drink Of The Week

Rover Henty St Ale by Hawkers Beer. Tasting notes.

Guest taster, Liam Carter from the Auscast Network.

00:09:05 Max Cullen

Sunday Too Far Away is one of the great Australian movies. It was shot here in South Australia in 1975 and regular guest, Don Violi, was even involved in a promotional photo shoot doing Jack Thompson’s hair. It’s a gritty movie about unionised shearers clashing with non-union labour and central to this conflict is the contractor, Tim King, played by Max Cullen. This movie was Max’s break into film and today he’s in Adelaide for the Adelaide Film Festival to honour the release of a new film, Acute Misfortune.

The Adelaide Show Podcast regular, Don Violi, in bowtie, cutting Jack Thompson's hair for Sunday Too Far Away

Firstly, welcome back to Adelaide. We turned on a little rain to mark your work in Sunday Too Far Away because I believe rain pushed you way behind schedule?

If it rained so much, how did you create such a dry, desperate look?

There is another link between Sunday and Adelaide – and that’s me. I took the film to Hungary.

Did you have a sense of how important that film was going to be to us, when you were making it?

I saw a speech you made on Australia Day in 2012 in which you lamented much of the brokenness of Australia, while also loving it. Was the Australia back in the time of the Sunday Too Far Away store (1955), or 1975 when you made it, any better than Australia now?

Is there a risk we always lament things being worse than they are?

While we’re getting introspective, I want to confess something and ask you something. You’ve been in blockbuster movies like Australia, Wolverine, and The Great Gatsby, there’s something big, majestic, and escapist about them all. By contrast, Sunday Too Far Away covered masculinity warts and all along with power struggles between unions and capitalists, another Australian movie you’ve just been in, Broke, features a disgraced football star who succumbs to gambling, and your current movie at the Adelaide Film Festival, Acute Misfortune, covers the tragic story of artist Adam Cohen, his drug addiction and broken relationships. My confession is, I’d like to think I’d choose the grittier movies BUT I fear I’d allocate my very rare two hours in a cinema to escapism, even though I SAY I want something deep. I’ll then leave with a form of sugar high. My question is, is that wrong of me? Is there something broken about what grabs the attention of current Australian filmmakers. Or is there a slab of nuance in there somewhere too far away?

You have a familial link to Acute Misfortune, don’t you?

Before we leave Australian film with a sour taste in our mouths, I can’t let this opportunity pass without asking about Spider And Rose with Ruth Cracknell. You got some Best Supporting Actor gongs for that 1994 movie. I simply LOVED it. Do you have any recollections of that movie and the reactions of audiences?

I heard that when you made Broke, the cast basically shared a house. I bet you didn’t shack up with Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of the Great Gatsby. What model is better for creating a good movie?

A couple of TV notes to finish on.

I’m sure most people ask you about your roles on Flying Doctor, etc, and I’ll do that in a minute. But first, Oils ain’t oils. I LOVED those ads as a kid. Did you know you were onto something? And did that role open any doors for you in comedy?

You’ve been in some of the better TV drama in Australia. A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, McLeod’s Daughters, and even Rake. How much rehearsal goes into these shows, and has it changed over the years? I ask, because I know a screenwriter from Blue Heelers and they were always rewriting to reduce cast and save money, etc.

Matlock Police and Homicide were also favourites of mine growing up and you appeared in them both, many times, and as different characters. I can’t recall seeing different crooks being the same person, so what sort of subterfuge was at play?

Finally, we can’t let a chat about high art finish without referencing your appearance on Kingswood Country. You played Donger Jackson alongside the late Ross Higgins. There was some pretty racist stuff in that, that I laughed along with. How did you get away with it. Could it work today? Or have times changed?

And I’ve got young daughters, both showing interest in art, expression, and performance. What could I do to prepare them for the road ahead, noting that you also do art in the other part of your life?

00:00:00 Musical Pilgrimage
No song this week.

Here is this week’s preview video:

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free sfx from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal sfx, the wine pouring and cork pulling sfx, and the swooshes around Siri.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.