Matt Nable is someone who has seemingly done it all.
He was a former professional rugby league player, sports commentator, turned actor, known for starring in Underbelly: Badness, Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms and Gallipoli. As an actor, he also had success in the US playing Ra’s al Ghul in both Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.
But now in a career first, Nable is directing his first feature film, Transfusion.
In an exclusive interview with 9Entertainment, Nable discussed the significance of writing and directing such a moving film, and details his working relationship with Hollywood superstar, Sam Worthington.
“My father was in the army for 20 years, so I was around the army barracks and soldiers for the best part of my youth,” Nable said, noting this was part of the inspiration of Transfusion.
The film follows Ryan Logan (Avatar star Worthington) and his son Billy (played by Gilbert Bradman, at age eight, and Edward Carmody, at age 16) attempting to reconnect after a devastating loss. Phoebe Tonkin plays Logan’s wife, Justine.
On his last chance with the law, Logan is thrust into the criminal underworld by a former SAS brother, Johnny (Nable) to keep his son from being taken away.
The film delves into Worthington’s character, who is struggling with intense PTSD after retiring from the SAS.
“I was shown a lot of men who would come back from war zones and observed the impact of coming home. So I basically wrote what I know,” Nable explained.
As part of researching the film, Nable had access to current and retired SAS officers who were willing to share their experiences from overseas and from war zones, and also what their transition was like coming out of the army.
“That was probably the biggest challenge,” Nable said. “Getting access to authentic SAS guys who I could talk to, and they were willing to share. But once I found specifically that one guy that made things very, very clear and concise about what Sam’s character might be playing, it all fell into place.”
Nable also noted that Worthington was his first choice to play Ryan Logan.
“I’d known Sam for a long, long, long time. ‘Wortho’ read the script and a very short time after that, he agreed to be part of the film,” he said.
“I think I got him at a really good point in his life.
“Sam’s very settled, he’s got three young boys, so he understood what it was like to be a father and what the fear of their mortality, how that manifests itself in his behavior around them and who he is with them.”
Nable also noted that Worthington’s acting history brought a lot to the project too.
“[Worthington] brings years of experience on some very, very good projects, like the biggest projects ever made,” he said.
“So he brings a wealth of experience and also knowledge that helped me immensely.”
Transfusion also boasts a stellar supporting cast including Susie Porter, Sam Parsonson and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor.
“All the people in the film are all really good friends and people I’ve worked with lots,” he added.
“I’ve done, I think, seven jobs with Jeremy [Lindsay Taylor], and Susie I’ve worked with three or four times. So the idea was that I specifically I had those roles written for those actors.”
“I look forward to people finishing the film feeling affected. A lot of people who have watched it are quite surprised by it,” he said.
Both Worthington’s performance and Nable’s writing in direction are sure to make a lasting impression on Transfusion audiences for years to come.