Zac Garred is an actor from Newcastle, Australia who currently lives in Los Angeles and you may recognise him in numerous Australian and US productions such as the franchise of films Occupation: Rainfall as not only an amazing actor but an Associated Producer of the film as well. The sequel Rainfall premiered on the 11th of June in selected film theatres across the US and will be soon seen in the UK. Zac was cast in a series called General Hospital where he played a villain and received an award for “Best Villain of the Year”.
Hi Zac!. How did the premiere of your new film ‘RAINFALL’ go?
G’day! Lovely to have a chat! It went really well. We debuted in the Top Ten most popular films on Apple Movies. We are currently the 7th most popular so we are all very chuffed. It is playing in cinemas as well, and I had the pleasure of seeing it at the Cinelounge drive-in, Hollywood last Friday. That was a wonderful experience. Audiences have embraced it and I hope people keep turning out to see it! We open in the UK next on July 9th.
As a child you were into sports and even represented your school in Newcastle in rugby league and cricket, what made you focus more on acting later?
I was always in to performing in some way. My mates and I would act out Monty Python sketches for school talent shows. I grew up on Bugs Bunny cartoons, Jim Carey and an Australian sketch show called FULL FRONTAL. So I would emulate a lot of my favourite performances from those. At 14 I broke my foot, and in my time away from sport I started studying acting and performance to a greater depth. I really enjoyed it! By that time I started to have a real interest and appreciation for the craft, plus making film and TV really is a team dynamic, something that resonates with me from my sporting days.
How did you manage to sign with an agent in Sydney while studying?
I was in Year 11 at the time but there was a competition being run called CRACK THE BIG TIME by an iconic Australian casting director named Liz Mullinar. It was part of a fundraiser for a passion of hers which is helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse at her retreat called Mayumarri.
It gave actors a chance to submit a short scene which was judged by some luminaries of the Aussie industry, I did a short scene from SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, and I was selected as one of the ten winners. They then shot your scene professionally and it was submitted to Australia’s biggest agents, I signed with one of them and went from there. On reflection it was a really endearing thing for Liz to do, to give actors a chance like that in the early 2000s. Most opportunities to get in front of these agents came through acting schools, so this was quite unique to able to submit a professional tape like nthis. I am very grateful for all of it.
Foreign Exchange was the first project you appeared in, how did it make you feel back then?
Foreign Exchange was extraordinary! I remember we got the phone call around Christmas time so the parties were a little bigger at that time ha! It was a big TV series and I got to live and work in Perth, Australia and Galway, Ireland. On top of that, I was working with an amazing cast and crew who expanded my understanding of the technicalities and the creativity behind acting.
I was ecstatic to have that be my first big job at seventeen
Do you miss Australia a lot while doing filming and living full time in LA?I do indeed, especially friends and family. I have been in LA for a while, it has really become a home to me. And I have lots of Aussie mates here, both in and out of the industry. So it isn’t too hard to find a little slice of Australia to keep the longings at bay. Part of the thrill of this job is being able to live in and see different parts of the world, so I have a tendency to be looking over the horizon to what is next. And always knowing Australia is there, my mates and family are there, is such a comfort.
Was it the first time for you to try yourself as an Associated Producer and did you enjoy it?
I had produced short films before but this was my first time producing in any capacity on a feature film. I very much did enjoy it! It is a demanding job, and I didn’t have nearly as much to do as the producers, Carly and Carmel, who had a huge job. I was able to work in a creative capacity with the director, Luke, and also work in a production capacity too. I really enjoyed it.
In All Saints you played a mentally handicapped character, was it difficult to get into your character?
Reese, my character, was in a car accident when he was only four, and mentally he never grew beyond that age even though he was physically twenty-two. We had an incredible director on that episode, Lynn Marie Danzey, and I had a beautiful actor playing my Mum, Lisa Peers. We worked hard on the relationship between mother and son so falling in to character became a reflex. I studied and researched as much as I could and, being a medical drama, All Saints had a plethora of communities to approach. I spoke to carers, nurses and people with the same condition as Reese, all of that plus the people around me made forming Reese very clear.
Could you tell us about your appearance in Home and Away?
Sure! I was 19, I played a daggy (dorky) lab tech named Bert Biddle ha! It was only a brief role but a very memorable one. The costume and make-up department had a blast making me as daggy (dorky) looking as possible, a departure from glistening up Chris’ torso. I had lots of fun in Summer Bay, the lineage of actors out of there is incredible and it’s wonderful to have been a part of it, albeit brief.
I am excited to watch a miniseries Australian Gangster, what can you tell us about this particular project? This is a really exciting project, two prodigious directors in Gregor Jordan and Fadia Abboud, an incredible producing team in Dan and John Edwards and a scintillating cast. What it is about we still can’t say, other than it is about Sydney’s present criminal underworld. It is so current everything has been kept under wraps. I must say people need to watch it just for the performances of Alexander Bertrrand and Louisa Mignone, they are incredible! AUSTRALIAN GANGSTER will premiere on the Seven Network in Australia during 2021.
Which films can you rewatch over and over again?
Oh so many! Billy Elliott, Gladiator, Notting Hill, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Jerry Maguire, Boogie Nights, Aussie films The Proposition and The Dish. These are some of the movies I always stop and watch if they pop up on tele….actually….I think that is one thing I do still appreciate even in this incredible era of streaming content….flicking thorough the channels and happening upon one of your favourite movies. Always a great surprise.
Do you plan on directing your own film one day?
I directed a short film called DUFFY in 2016, which I really enjoyed, but as of now I am enjoying acting, producing and writing. They are my main interests. Directing is an incredible discipline that artists constantly work at to master, it requires so much discipline and focus. It absolutely intrigues me but for now, I am very happy doing what I am doing.
Any upcoming premiers that we should be aware of?
Yes! Keep an eye out for Chris Cramer’s horror feature SEANCE, I have a fun role in that! Out later this year. Likewise the movie I just wrapped, Chance Sanchez’s ZERO ROAD. I play an overweight drug dealer which was a really interesting character, I had a big, fake stomach and some tinted hair. I loved it! ZERO ROAD is a dark, coming-of-age story set in Casper, Wyoming, where we filmed. That is out end of this year or early next. There is also Australian Gangster coming to TV screens this year as well.