FTV de Monte Carlo: a chat Joel Jackson and Mark Fennessy about Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door

We met Joel Jackson and Mark Fennessy on the last day of the Film Festival de la Télévision de Montecarlo, just before their press conference and, as last survivors, we had the great opportunity to meet them for a wonderful one to one interview.

Mark left all the space to his star, but, even if he was silence, you could read all the proud about this boy and their work together in his eyes.

Joel Jackson is simply amazing, one of this person with the power to change other people day just with a smile or few words. An outstanding artist, a wonderful human being and a stunning soul.

J: In a way this role it’s my dream coming true. When I was young, I wanted to be a rock-star. I didn’t expect to play the role of Peter Allen, sure it was something I wanted to achieve. My dream continues to be with me but I didn’t dream to have the success Allen had…and being here, being part of this amazing festival,…the dream is still alive. Also because I play music on the side. I knew Peter Allen music before being cast. I didn’t know much about his story. For example I didn’t know his father committed suicide. I didn’t know about him running away from home when he was 15 or 16 so…do all these researches, speak to his best friends, to people he recorded with, to his family…was really illuminating for me. I wanted to speak with those people because I wanted to speak to people who knew him behind a close door. Watching someone on television or on a video, what you see is just a reflection of who we are, and who we really are is people. So I wanted to go deeper and see how was for people who toured with Allen five years. I hanged out with a lot of musicians, a lot of dancers, entertainers, lots of musical theatre people asking what Allen would do …For example, they told me for a tip tap dance, he could start with the metronome for like four weeks trying everyday to get the metronome a little faster. Because I’m a song writer and a musician too playing his music, singing his music live, going to the studio recording his songs before shooting…that was really making the character. It was a lot of fun…I had to learn dancing. To sing the song trying to understand the guy who wrote it, what he was going through when he wrote it,…you understand literally the words he wrote, the energy behind his music”.

M:I think in Australia there are always been a lot of talents, now there are just more opportunities for them to show their talent and to express themselves. What it’s happening is that now we have a lot of talents working in the UK and in the USA and  starting to be recognize because there are all these new opportunities. I think that there are also many scripts, series and mini-series commissioned and it’s fantastic, because that gives to our talents the opportunity to express themselves in interesting roles.  I really hope these commissions can still growing. There are a lot of Australian writers trying to find a chance to have their works commissioned…really hard workers who cross the border, go to Los Angeles and try to give our country this opportunity. So I’m actually very positive about the future. We have been blessed by having someone like Joel. He was like a gift for us. And if we look at the least year in Australia there have been a lot of mini-series about contemporary stories, stories people can feel related to…exactly like Peter (Allen, ed). People remember Peter, they want to see behind the curtains. And if Peter Allen  were alive he would be overwhelming about how talented Joel is. It was like magic. During the shooting the team was so enthusiastic, especially about Joel’s work that no one wanted to stop and eating. They just wanted to keep going on and on. We have been just blessed by having Joel. This guy is just a marvellous talented man”.

Peter Allen:Not the Boy Next Door won already 10 awards around the world.

Watch here Joel Jackson and Mark Fennessy Monte-Carlo press conference.

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