Before he became one of Australia’s best-loved actors, Jack Thompson had already been many things. At the age of 15, he became a jackaroo in the Northern Territory, working on the remote cattle station of Elkedra. There, he says, he observed a life that no longer exists. At camp, he was the only white person among the adult Alyawarra men.
It was fine preparation for his cinematic work in the 1970s and early 80s when he became an icon of the Australian New Wave, taking leading and supporting roles in classics including Sunday Too Far Away (1975), The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978), Breaker Morant (1980) and The Man From Snowy River (1982).
It also made him an obvious choice to record a voiceover for Our Country, a 40-screen, 360-degree celebration of Australia’s natural landscape and wildlife by Australian Geographic, in partnership with Tourism Australia. Curated by Karina Holden, and now open in Brisbane, it collates the work of 25 cinematographers who spent a combined 100,000 hours in the field.
Now 82, Thompson lives in northern New South Wales. He spoke to Guardian Australia in good humour – and with that distinctive voice intact.
Tell us about Our Country.… Read more..