Jeremy Brennan was bouncing around the house when he learned the short film he co-produced and starred in had made the finals of Tropfest this year.
Until that point, Tough Crowd, directed by Brennan’s friend Patrick Gillies, had been something of an exercise in public humiliation for the New Zealand-born actor.
Patrick came up with the idea that maybe there was a good story about a little girl meeting a mime artist in the park, Brennan told Sydney Star Observer.
My initial feeling was, -˜Let’s get a real girl to play the role.’
Gillies had other ideas, casting Brennan in both parts to make the film funnier.
He said, -˜We’ll get you to do it and you don’t have to shave.’
We went down to Rushcutters Bay Park one day and I was dressed in this ridiculous pink outfit, with friends of mine walking past wondering who that little Lebanese girl was, Brennan said.
It was some pink pyjamas, a long wig and this really gross pink hat.
Unfortunately for the mime artist, his obnoxious young spectator finds nothing amusing, and the entertainer is forced to don fancy dress too.
The mime does dress up as twin cheerleaders at one point in the film to try and make her laugh, Brennan said.
It’s not drag, but there I was running around Rushcutters Bay with a mime artist face, blond wig and pompoms.
While Tough Crowd doesn’t have an explicitly gay theme, Brennan says the silent film was pretty camp.
The humour in it is pretty camp, and there’s an outrageousness which I think is good camp.
We tried to come up with something that would be a lot of fun for me to play.
We were really interested in creating a very simple story that revolved around characters.
Tough Crowd is the third film Brennan has acted in for Tropfest, but the first to make the finals.
Is the NIDA graduate confident of the movie’s chances next Sunday?
I don’t know. I just think we’re really lucky to have made it into the final 16, he said. That in itself is really exciting.
Tropfest is on Sunday 26 February in The Domain. Entertainment begins at 3pm and films screen from 7:45pm. For more information visit the Tropfest website.