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Podcast – Eric Bana and Robert Connolly on The Dry

The Dry star Eric Bana and co-writer/director Robert Connolly on bringing a bestselling novel to life on the big screen.

Robert Connolly and Eric Bana stand with one another talking on the set of The Dry

Robert Connolly and Eric Bana on the set of The Dry

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They may have shared an office for years, but actor Eric Bana and director Robert Connolly had yet to find the perfect project to collaborate again on.

Bana had an executive producer credit on Paper Planes, but before then the last time they worked together was in 2007 on Romulus, My Father, which Bana starred in and Connolly produced.

That is, until Connolly pitched to Bana the adaptation of Jane Harper’s best-selling crime novel The Dry, which he was already co-writing, directing and producing.

“Rob came in and said ‘I’ve just read The Dry and I’m thinking of directing it’ and I’m like ‘I read the book, I love it’ and we just kind of looked at each other, like ‘could this be?!’,” Bana says of the film, which releases in Australian cinemas on 1 January through Roadshow Films.

Bana came on board as both producer and as the lead role of Federal Agent Aaron Falk, who returns to his drought-stricken home after more than 20 years for the funeral of a childhood friend – who allegedly murdered his wife and child before taking his own life. Pulled into the still-fresh murder investigation, Falk begins to suspect the crime could be linked to the death of a teenage girl that happened when he was a teenager.

Throughout the podcast, Bana and Connolly speak to bringing Harper’s book to life on the screen; how they were able to balance the past and present mysteries in the edit; and why The Dry was shot using large format cameras and what that meant.

“In this era of streaming and the capacity for people to watch so much stuff at home, what is cinema?" Connolly says. "And how do you make cinema that invites an audience to see something they have to be in a cinema (for), no matter how big your home TV is. And this camera helped. It’s a big, epic frame. It’s like 70mm, when we shot on film.”

The pair also spoke to their future collaboration: a feature in development about British Grand Prix motorcycle champion Mike “The Bike” Hailwood that Bana is set to write, act in, and co-direct with Connolly.

The Dry releases in Australian cinemas on 1 January 2021 through Roadshow Films and is one of four big features set to release over summer, alongside Penguin Bloom on 21 January, High Ground on 28 ­­­­­­January, and the feature documentary Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra releasing 18 February.

For feedback about this episode, please email Podcast.

The Dry movie still. Eric Bana is walking, turning his head looking back over his shoulder towards the camera.The Dry

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