Residents flock to The Warehouse for the chance to be cast in Hollywood film

HOLLYWOOD HOPEFULS: Christine and Ken Curnow travelled from Bendigo for the casting call for The True Story of the Kelly Gang in Clunes at the weekend. Photo: Dylan Burns

HOLLYWOOD HOPEFULS: Christine and Ken Curnow travelled from Bendigo for the casting call for The True Story of the Kelly Gang in Clunes at the weekend. Photo: Dylan Burns

CLUNES will once again be featured on the big screen, with some lucky locals given the opportunity to star alongside big Hollywood names like Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult and Essie Davis. 

Casting directors for The True Story of the Kelly Gang, a big budget remake of the Ned Kelly story, based on Peter Carey’s novel, last week distributed notices advertising a casting call, which took place on Sunday.

Hollywood hopefuls between the ages of 15 and 60 lined up at The Warehouse in Clunes for their chance to be cast in an old fashioned dance scene depicting a celebration of Federation Day in the late 1800s.

Clunes’ Pia Sims, who has been cast in many television programs, said she was attracted to the casting call as it was in her town. 

“By the looks of it, hundreds of people will be cast for the scene. They’re trying to do a big, old time dance scene,” she said. 

Ken and Christine Curnow travelled from Bendigo for the chance to be cast in the film. 

They are descendants of schoolteacher Thomas Curnow, who famously escaped the siege at Glenrowan and ran down the railway tracks waving a candle behind a red scarf, to warn police trains of their potential derailment. 

“Years ago, my dad was an extra in All The Rivers Run, which was pretty wow. I always wondered if I could ever be in something, so when this came up, I said, ‘you don’t know until you have a go’,” Ms Curnow said.

Interim Chief Executive Officer of Hepburn Shire Council, Bruce Lucas, said the council had a proud reputation of being film friendly.

“We are pleased to once again be hosting a production company, filming on location in Clunes. Filming in the region provides significant economic benefits to the local community, with film crews staying locally and buying locally during the shoot.

“There are also long-term benefits, with visitors coming to see where a film has been made, long after the filming has screened. Filming also builds a sense of pride amongst the community and the Clunes community can certainly be proud having been the location for a number of films such as Mad Max, Ned Kelly, The Leftovers, and Picnic at Hanging Rock, to name just a few,” he said.