One of the most interesting careers to watch over the past few years has been that of Australian actor Jason Clarke. From small roles in Aussie TV shows like Blue Heelers and Stingers Clarke has elevated his career to the point where he has starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest films – even getting to play John Connor in Terminator: Genysis.
Now Clarke is about to wow horror fans with his portrayal of the father, Louis, in the new rendition of the Stephen King classic Pet Semetary. Recently Clarke talked about his role in the film and what fans can to expect to see from it.”
“ I didn’t find it a scary book but I did find it a deeply disturbing book,” he explains when talking about the novel that the film is based on. “It really upset the core of me, I could imagine myself being Louis. I mean I was reading it for that purpose but there was a very personable quality about the situation and what you would do as a person or a parent, you could imagine what it was like to be there and to touch it – to have that ability to bring back life. For that reason I found it to be one of those things that I had to stop and put down. The relationship that Stephen King has in the book between Louis and his wife is really cool. There is a real baseness to them, they don’t feel like some fictional characters. With their sexuality and their love life it was really quite shocking when I read it the second time. It made the story more intimate and Amy does that quite easily because of her own work as a writer and an actress.”
One of the standout performances from the film is the performance of Jete Laurence who plays Clarke’s daughter in the film and he is very quick to praise her as well. “She has a wonderful ability to listen,” he says. “It is very easy for children or young actors who have just learnt a particular way to work or way that appeases the director but it is something special to just sit there and listen and to see where it goes… and I would say that she has that.”
Of course Clarke also gets to spend a lot of screen time with legendary actor John Lithgow and it easy to see as he speaks about the film that it was one of the highlights for him. “The first time we had to do a scene together I had just seen his work on The Crown which was fantastic,” he says smiling. “And you know what casting can be a lot of it and I thought it was a fantastic choice. He is taller than me and I thought that was wonderful for Jud and the fact that Louis and he have such an easy repour that it just slips into being his father figure.”
“This story goes beyond horror,” says Clarke when he is asked about the deep meanings behind Pet Semetary. “I mean it goes into a deeper level of what true horror is, this man is a kind of Frankenstein. If you create a monster or if you bring the monster to life what happens then if the monster has consciousness? It is like A.I. or something or if the computer reaches synchronisity.”
Pet Semetary opens in cinemas today.