For many, Hunter Page-Lochard playing the one blue-eyed, one brown-eyed Koen West in ABC’s intriguing series, Cleverman in 2016 was their first proper introduction to the work of this enigmatic, young actor. For the lucky others, it was an obvious and natural progression after watching him take on a variety of captivating roles since childhood as a dancer and actor in theatre, film and tv.
As a member of the ignorant gang of the above, he first caught my eye in Cleverman – a futuristic, fast-paced drama incorporating Aboriginal mythology. Powerful stuff indeed and I swiftly got to work researching this unforgettable actor.
Within minutes I was watching the trailer for Spear. This insightful film (directed by Hunter’s father Stephen Page) authentically explores through movement and dance the emotionally torrid journey of a young aboriginal man (Djali, played by Hunter) as he grapples with the conflicting ideals of modern day life and ancient aboriginal traditions.
Again, powerful stuff and for a trailer, I was pretty blown away. His moves were as fluid as they were masterful and in an instant I wanted him to dance in the next National Treasures Clip’D Series short film.
I’m happy to say he was keen to agree, stating that he’d love to act in this piece also and that he had some additional ideas too, would I mind if we chatted about them? Not at all and so we set to work creating Midnight Man.
Hunter was a pleasure to work with, his exuberant creative energy knew no bounds and he contributed greatly. He also said that he’d put in a good word for me with Deborah Mailman for The National Treasures Clip’D Series and I’m holding him to that 🙂
Work to Date
Hunter Page Lochard enjoyed his first role on stage at the tender age of 6 months in The Cake Man. Later stage roles include Boomerang in 2005, Blak in 2013 (both for Bangarra Dance Theatre) Bloodland in 2012 (Sydney Theatre Company and Adelaide Festival) Black Diggers (Queensland Theatre Company) Sugarland (Australian Theatre for Young People), Brother’s Wreck and Elektra Orestes in 2015 (Belvoir St Theatre).
His film career kicked off in 2010 when he starred in Rachel Perkin’s award winning film Bran Nue Dae and not long after he playing Stevie Kayne in Wayne Blair’s The Sapphires (with the glorious Debra Mailman as well as other homegrown lovelies). Later in 2013, he worked alongside the mesmerising Christina Ricci in the film Around the Block.
Hunter played the lead in the unforgettable film Spear (directed by his father Stephen Page who is also the director of Bangarra Dance Theatre) which premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 Other short films include Black Talk and The Djarn Djarns (which won The Crystal Bear Award for best short film at Berlin International Film Festival).
Family and The Early Days
Both my parents have been involved in the arts ever since I can remember. My father was a dancer turned choreographer and now he has been the artistic director for Bangarra Dance Theatre for more than 25 years. My mother was a ballet dancer for the New York City Ballet and then moved to Sydney to dance and teach at both Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra. I could remember the smell of the dressing rooms and the many performers that entered and exited my life as if I was a backstage hallway. I think from the moment I could verbalise a sentence I knew that I wanted to be a performer or a story teller. Even though dance, was all around me, I was inspired almost immediately by the silver screen after watching people like Ethan Hawke and Johnny Depp, I decided then that I would focus on the dramatic arts more than dancing. I would read novels, screenplays, plays and comic books and I knew I either wanted to act or write for the rest of my life and even though I’m young still I haven’t looked back.
My father wanted me to dance or to become a dancer but I think he’s let that go now as my passions for the dramatic arts are starting to show on stages and screens around the world. Besides acting, I have a love for telling a story and creating it from scratch. The original thought of concept is my drug and I have studied screenwriting and will continue to study it to perfect my craft of writing. I would love to direct my stories but I feel I get a kick out of writing the most.
My favourite characters to date would have to be Wallace & Gromit and if I would have to choose one of the two I would pick Gromit. For a character to give you so much in such a short amount of time each movie or episode is astounding especially when they don’t utter a word of dialogue. The ‘stop motion’ animation has a lot to do with it but the genius behind the movement and subtly of this beautiful dog is amazing and forever a blissful memory.
Career and Professional Goals
I don’t see boundaries. I see an endless sea of opportunity only if I’m up for it, only if I’m brave enough to steer my ship through its changing tides and distracting waves. I love what I want to do and I can’t wait for people to see a film generated by myself. It’s the excitement and motivation that blows my sails.
I want to create a company for all creative forms and mediums. I want there to be a place for artists to go and be a part of that looks after and funds itself, I want to try and change the old politics of the arts even if it kills me. Collaboration is key and when were all working together to possibilities are endless.
Believing in yourself and in your dream is a hard thing to keep constant, as especially in this generation, the distractions are endless. I’ve had to overcome many challenges in my life that test my belief in myself. I think we all struggle with that as humans, whether we are in the arts or in big major business companies. You can’t win or achieve your dream if you don’t believe in yourself and that’s always been a challenge I’ve continuously tried to overcome.
Photographic Stills from The National Treasures Clip’D Series – Midnight Man Featuring Hunter Page-Lochard. Words by Nick Cave (with kind permission)
Directed by Toby Burrows
Location Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney
Ricky Birmingham @ Mushroom Music
Hunter Page- Lochard – Actor – Movement – Narration – Choreography – Production Design
Elizabeth Timbery Tierney @ Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney
Rebecca Ritchie @ Opera Australia
Bonnie Harris @ Opera Australia
Toby Burrows – Director
Zoë Porter – Producer
Chris Baron – Editor – Sound Design – Stills
Glen Pokorny – DOP
Isaac McLurcan – Gaffer – 2nd Camera
Jeremy Shaw – Gaffer
Milla Jeffryes – Production Assistant