Award-winning actor Hugo Weaving has taken a swipe at the NSW government for failing to support the local film industry in the same manner as its southern counterparts.
Weaving’s latest film, The Tender Hook, was shot in Melbourne despite being a Sydney story set in some of the Harbour City’s most iconic locations.
The film tells the story of a love triangle set in Sydney’s criminal/boxing underworld in the 1920s.
The production contributed $7 million and more than 100 jobs to the Victorian economy, with Brighton Beach standing in for Bondi, a swivel bridge in rural Victoria representing Glebe Island, and the back alleys of Fitzroy standing in for suburbs such as Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Chippendale.
Weaving, who stars alongside Rose Byrne in the stylish film noir, said it was "crazy" that director Jonathan Ogilvie couldn’t get enough support to shoot the film in NSW.
"It ended up being cheaper and easier for the film to relocate to Melbourne and Victoria," Weaving said.
"We’ve got so many people, crews and actors, who live in NSW and specifically in Sydney, so you’d think the government would put up a little bit of money into helping the industry in this city, particularly with a film that was set here and the locations are scouted and found.
"I think it’s just probably ignorance on the part of the government really. They’re not interested and don’t know enough about the industry, and don’t know enough about the benefits of putting a little bit of money into promoting your state and the film industry within your state."
Weaving recently finished filming Last Ride in South Australia, and applauded the state government for investing in film projects.
Recently Ten Empty, Beautiful, Hey, Hey It’s Esther Blueburger, December Boys and Lucky Miles have all been shot in the Festival State.
"A lot of films are going down to South Australia at the moment because the South Australian state government are putting a little bit of money in, and we’re not talking about a lot of money," Weaving said.
"But they and the Adelaide Film Festival are actually putting money into creating films, so that’s why a lot of people are making films down there."
The Tender Hook opens nationally on September 18.