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Australian Story -

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Hello, I'm Margaret Pomeranz

from 'At the movies'. Like so

many people in the world of the

film making community, I was

shocked and saddened to hear

the news of the death of the

Australian filmmaker Sarah Watt

10 days ago. What a loss. In

memory of Sarah and of the

significant creative and

personal bond she had with her husband, William husband, William McInnes, we

are rebroadcasting this episode

of Australian Story which went

to air in 2005, a few months before the release of Sarah's

acclaimed first

Both Ways'. It was a film I

loved. Australia's lost a

wonderful filmmaker and a brave

and gracious person, as you will see in this Australian


Part of the problem with Part of the problem with being

a writer and actor in this

country is you breathe fairly

rarefied air. Will comes from

such a real place he has never

lost it. He is not interested

with the trappings that go with

acting, he is just interested

with real in the idea of quhun indicating

with real people. You have to

have a commitment to acting, I

do like it, a lot of time it is

just a pain in though. Sometimes I think it is

just like a real silly bit of

nonsense to sort of be dressing

up and acting, you know. It's

pretending, tendies. He is a

real conundrum sometimes

because he doesn't take himself

seriously as an actor, yet he

is probably the most innately

gifted actor I have ever

met. William could be one of

this country exempt he the great leading actors in

slavishly chooses not to be

that. I think, if you really

want to make it as a mainstream

actor, you have to play the

game to some degree and Will

doesn't want to do that. doesn't want to do that. Will's

very happy to live on the other

side of the bridge with his

wife and his kids and just

treat himself as a journeyman

actor. The fact he is not a

journeyman actor, the fact he

has actually got a really deep

talent is a bit of a shame.

It would come right back and

hit you like a train bang.

Hello sandy, pleased to meet

you. You never know what's out

there. You see, kiddo, you are becoming emotionally involved.

It doesn't change the world.

William McInnes, double Logie and star of 'Seachange', 'Shark

Brother Jack'. Net', 'Blue Heelers' and 'My

Where William and Sarah's

house is, it's not in the dress

circle area of Melbourne. It's

a nice area of Melbourne, it's

in Footscray. Within cooee of William's place, you have

freight trains, industrial

areas. It is not pretentious,

it is an area where you can

live. It is not an area where

you just exist. I think that's

what he - what they like.

These photos are great. I just

want to live somewhere and go

up to the supermarket in my and get the paper and the milk, jammies

or I want to sort of, you know,

just sort of hang out around

here and not be a big here and not be a big fuss.

Will is obsessed with Sarah's

work. Who can blame him? She

is a very, very smart filmmaker. She has been one filmmaker. She has been one of

the world's leading animators

for the past 10, 15 years. Her

work is drawn from life. She is

really big on intuitive art, I

think. And I guess, in a way,

we are pretty similar to that

because if I am being honest

about what I do, most of my better performances are like

that, they are something I have

picked up and had a go at. Both

animation and writing fit in

really well with domestic life.

William has his little room out

the back which he learned parts

so he could shout. I had the

garage, but that fell down, so

now I've got the lounge

Every man has to have a shed

and William is definitely one

that has a shed. I suppose the

best best description I can think of

of William is a well-adjusted

slob. He needs that little bit

himself of chaos that he can surround

himself with. He sits in there,

listens to music and starts


I think he has always been a writer. little articles for the writer. When he started writing

'Courier Mail', I think it

clock clicked in. William can

write, it comes out like a good

funny story, then it is

He is a good natural writer. I

have written a book which is

something that I am astounded


It's an attempt to tell a

story about where I came from

and where I found myself and

what happens when you go back

where you've come from.

It is a bizarre song. . I grew

up in a place called Redcliffe

and it is about 40km north of

Brisbane. I like to think I've

got a bit of a perspective on

it, I don't romanticise it too much, but I'm sure you do,

especially if you have a nice time when

and I haven't got too many

complaints. There is five kids

in our family. William is the

youngest. I'm the eldest. So

either end and the girls in boys are the book ends

between. It is safe to say William has been different. He

was very creative. He loved

being a kid. Loved poking fun

at people. He loved being a


Who's that? That's Warren.

He was always, can I say,

bloody idiot. He was alright

but he was never quite normal.

He used to dress up He used to dress up for school

plays and he would dress up as

Aunty Jack, do you remember

Aunty Jack "Rip your bloody

arms off"? He had a big

golden, he wore it to school

and wore it home again. Who's

that? When I went off to drama

school, off to Perth to WAAPA, I had enrolled father thought I was off to do

that. When he found out, he

looked at me and said "Where

are you going?". "Off to

Perth". "What for?". "To study

theatre". I couldn't even say I

was studying drama. He said "No

son of mine is going to be a

pissed-upon actor". I grew up

with it is a stupid way to make

a living. When we first met, he

lied about his age. I was older and he made himself younger,

which is ... mean is the only

word I can think of. I was an

actor who owned the underpants

he wore. I think that was about the only thing I had.

have done a few things which

left me completely unimpressed,

so I just assumed he was one of

those actors that was never

going to get a real job acting.

So, at first it was me that financed the relationship.

The first time we saw William

in 'Seachange', I was a bit

stunned. . We had some other things and it was

probably the first time that there was a character that was

starting to match him.

Max? Yes. We are drifting? I

think William was pleased to

get the jobs and loved the

scripts. I actually watched it.

I was like "Oh, you're I was like "Oh, you're going to

replace Diver Dan". I liked

this show and now you're going

to be on it". It was, yeah, it

was a worry 'cause very was a worry 'cause very hard

shoes to fill and it was the

most loved show in Australia.

It was a horror to him when we

lost Diver Dan, the program

went up in ratings. I think

that worried him. I think his

ambition for the show was to kill

people that feels very uncomfortable with

success. That thing in

'Seachange' was probably - to

be completely honest, it was probably a better role than I

thought it was, maybe. But to

me it was like, you know, I had

to go off to the gym and put

fake tan on and have my hair

dyed and make my eyes look as

blue as possible. That's why I

wore blue shirts all the time. Are you right there? Terribly

sorry, I heard some music. The

other thing that happened on 'Seachange' was Sally

Ayre-Smith, the producer of Ayre-Smith, the producer of the program, became obsessed with Will's torso. To the point that

Will would be constantly having

to remove his shirt. I would

be sending notes saying "I'm over seeing this man's

nipples". But Will thought this

was hysterical. The idea he was

sexually appealing to anyone,

including his wife, I think was a miracle for

Sarah has a really acute

perception of life, I think.

She draws on that perception for her for her work. I found out I was

going to have a baby when I was

staying at the beach. 'Small Treasures' is about a

pregnancy, I suppose. It is

about a baby that dies, it

doesn't make it through the

birth. I'm not a bloody baby

factory. Let's call her this,

let's call her that. I can have

other conversations, you

know. William and I, our first which was pretty traumatic.

I kind of made it sort of

autobiographical in a way but I universalised it. I looked a

whole lot of other stories. The

moment my baby was born was the

most beautiful, most special

moment. At the time I really

felt it was unspoken about and even though things even though things had improved, it was still

something "Shove your emotions under

under the bed, get back out and

have a baby". It is a lot

harder than that, it is harder

on relationships. It is a real death. I wanted to death. I wanted to make a film about that, but not a

depressing one, I hope.

I work in an industry where

men often tell newspapers how

much they adore their wives and

their children and what you see

on the flipside is slight ly

different. With Will, I never

feel he is comfortable unless he is

of his family. You don't get

that with many guys. We have

got two children, Clem got two children, Clem and

Stella. A journey shared is a

journey multi fly plied. -

multiplied. The more people you

go on with it is great. I think

that's why I like having a family so much. To be completely honest with you, if

I had a

be just enjoying my family. My

dad always said "A hobby is

your spare time. What you do in your spare time is actually

what you should do in your life

because your family is your


My brother lives in a place

called Camden. We have never

played rugby together but he

dragooned me in to have a game

with him. A golden oldies rugby

game at Camden. They're called the Tomb Raiders and

they are sponsored by a funeral

home. Will I think would have

preferred to have been preferred to have been a

rugby-playing mad Labor Senator

from North Queensland. I think

there is something about the

craft of acting that troubles


I think he believes somehow

that being an actor is not what

a real Aussie bloke should do.

I think somewhere deep down in

him he has still got his father's words ringing in there.

He got on extraordinarily

well with my father but never got, I suppose, the

immediate support inside the

family, even though I think my

father was truly proud of him.

I think one of his biggest

problems as an actor is he is

incredibly bright, incredibly intelligent. And he probably has always been more

intelligent than the people

around him which is why he is still like a big Primary School

kid, you know. What's this? That's my resignation. I did

'Blue Heelers' for four or five

years. It was good because I

learnt a lot on that show

watching people. John Wood is a

really good actor. When I did

use to travel by train tram, occasionally we'd meet at

Flinders Street and he'd get on

the same tram and he'd be

wearing hat pulled down over

the head so nobody the head so nobody had the

faintest idea who he was. He

would be going "It is John

Wood". "For God's sake shut

up". He'd be going "John Wood,

anybody watch 'Blue Heelers'?". After a while,

that sort of serious TV is a real drudge. You are doing the

same thing constantly, unless

you have something to occupy

your mind you can drift off

into mundane land. He has

very low boredom threshold. That's when you want to run

away because when he gets bored

he starts buggerising around,

and he makes your life a misery

when you are trying to do your

job. But he he fires, he is


There is an undertow today.

We don't want you two We don't want you two floating away. As much control as you

can have over your career, I

think I have managed to do lots

of really interesting things.

Shows like 'Shark Net' and 'My

Brother Jack', what I did enjoy

about them was the fact that

they really took a red hot go

at representing an Australia

that probably hadn't been that probably hadn't been done

before, certainly 'Shark Net'.

There isn't a day that goes

past when I don't think my

lucky stars for rubber.

It is a shame, I guess, that

there is not more Australian

drama on Australian television.

It is really important that you

do have stories told about you by your

Are you going to the Logies?

No, I couldn't find anything

to wear. I think there is a

real shortage of interesting

male roles kicking around at

the moment. They wanted me to

present something. People like

Will can play real Australians,

can get the voice, can get the

sound and they can get people

you go "That's familiar". I

wrote the film 'Look Both Ways'

pretty much for William. Not as

a great big gift just for him

but just as "I will write you a

role, I will get you a part". We never really thought it

would get up. The amount of

people that say "I've got a

script I want you to look at",

everyone has one. It is

Sarah's, it arrived, it is the

best first draft of a screen

play I had read in my whole

life. It was fantastic. They must must be very disciplined in

their own way. Whether they've

got a secret agenda when no-one

is looking they are really dill

diligent and work really hard and when everyone comes in, it

is chaotic, I don't know. We

suspect that sometimes.

I would be really intrigued to

see Will working with Sarah. I think you would have a

completely different Will. For

him to actually go on to a film

set and work all day and then

go home, I'd love to watch that.

It was a really hard

experience in the sense that

any film is a pretty intense

experience. Especially if you

direct and write it and then

is your husband in it is really

hard. I don't even know whether

I'd direct a film again, never

mind work with William again.

It is not necessarily a great

thing to work with your

partner. It is kind of nicer to actually come together away

from work and, you know, be

able to talk and stuff. I

really like that part of our

relationship and you kind of

can't have that when you are there.

The film is a mixture of live

action, drama and animation.

It is meant to be an organic

way of getting quite a few

different file styles in one

film. What are my chances? I

don't think there is any point in speculating in that sort of

way. The specialist will tell

you more on Monday. I think I

- I don't think I deep-seated fear of cancer. The

reason there is a cancer line

in the film is I had friends

and family who had cancer and

it seemed fairly prevalent.

I've got cancer.

It was late July in 2004 when

Sarah was in the middle of post production on a film that she

was diagnosed with breast

cancer. I have been seeing death everywhere this

weekend. Really? This is one

of the bizarre parallels of the

film is I found out it was most likely cancer at 6 o'clock on a

Friday night. Do you see it

happening when you look at me?

Do you see death? No. That's good.

She didn't tell us she had

been diagnosed because we were

up at Redcliffe. She didn't

want us to be upset or to be

worried. Just seemed really dumb to tell them because

William I knew would just come

straight home and he would be

there all weekend as well and

then by the Monday, I had sort

of figured it out enough that I

could cope with the news on my

own. Then it just seemed better to not sort

to not sort of, I don't know, not tell. But it was great

once I could tell William and

he could come home. She went

on this mad pattern of having

treatment, which is really

aggressive treatment, for the breast cancer and then also trying to finish the film. I

still don't know how she did

it. I never heard a complaint

from her. It just had to be

done. She is very resilient. I

think there was a lot of times

when I thought "It's all hard", buzz I didn't ever want

to stop the film because it is

such a big collaborative I knew I had to have an operation, then have

chemotherapy and stuff, I just

didn't know whether I'd be able

to pick up again in six months

time and have the same energy

so it seemed easier to keep

going. So the two things kind

of worked alongside each other, really. It was okay. I think there is

amount of self-protection in

the way Will presents. He is a

deeply sensitive soul. Get him

talking about his wife or his kids, you've got a

man. Despite all his bravado

and the nonsense he goes on

with, he is so capable of going

anywhere as an actor. Over the

years we talked about trying to

go living somewhere else so

William can do the whole door

knocking thing, both in America

and the UK. I just like living here too many and being with - too much and being with my

family and my friends. I

actually like being an

Australian and being here. But,

I mean, you know, a job

plane ride away. Put it this

way, they don't actually come

knocking that much. Maybe it is

our inertia and the fact we

like our little lives that does

stop us being braver. Maybe

that's laziness or poverty or

children or the dogs. I don't


The final word tonight comes from Sarah Watt from Sarah Watt herself, from a

new book she co-wrote with her husband William McInnes. Sarah's eloquent words are read

by her great friend, Justine

Clarke who was the lead actress

in 'Look Both Ways'. I can't

complain. The best thing I can do is balance the good luck

with the bad and go with good

grace, or in the

it up and get on with it. For

in our home, while despair and

disappointment may sit quiet ly

in a corner of the house, hope and grace take up more room.

And, again, in the parlance of

my children, it's all good. Closed Captions by CSI

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening, Virginia Haussegger

with an ABC News update. The Prime

Minister is tonight on her way home

from the United States, to prepare for

for this week's visit to Australia from the United States, to prepare

for this week's visit to Australia by Barack Obama. Julia Gillard is proclaiming

proclaiming the APEC meeting in Hawaii a success. Without a Hawaiian

shirt in sight, Asia Pacific leaders

agreed to lower trade barriers on

green products and to try to improve

energy efficiency over the next

energy efficiency over the next three

decades. Italy's new Prime Minister Mario decades. Italy f+w Prime Minister

decades. Italy's new Prime Minister Mario Monti has begun the task of

uniting Mario MontH? &+gun the task of

Mario Monti has begun the task of uniting his nation. The former EU commissioner uniting?# f ?ion. The former EU

uniting his nation. The former EU commissioner says Italy will will overcome comm╛sioner says Italy will will overcome its debt crisis. His first commissioner says Italy will will

task is to form a new government,

which is expected to take a few days.

Federal police believe they've shut

down a big drug importation network.