Simon Baker reveals why he’s ditching Hollywood in favour of telling Australian stories… as his describes filming new epic ‘High Ground’ as ‘one of the greatest privileges’ of his life
He’s the former Home and Away star who has crafted an incredibly successful career in Hollywood.
But on Saturday, Simon Baker, 51, revealed that he plans to ditch filming LA blockbusters in favour of telling important stories from his home land in Australia.
The Mentalist star told The Courier Mail that filming the new epic ‘High Ground’ – which tells a significant story about Aboriginal culture – was one of the ‘greatest privileges’ of his life, and he plans to star in more on the topic in future.
Moving on: On Saturday, Simon Baker, 51, revealed his plans to ditch filming LA blockbusters in favour of telling important stories from his home land in Australia. Pictured in new movie High Ground
Simon explained that agreeing to the role was motivated by seeing former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten’s response to the Uluru Statement, which called to ensure Indigenous voices would be heard in parliament.
‘I watched the way that beautiful statement of love was batted around like a political football, and it kind of disheartened me,’ he said. ‘I was amazed at how it was dealt with.’
When he offer came forward to star in the movie, Simon felt it could raise awareness about the culture in a way that ‘we haven’t yet seen in film before’.
Hollywood legend: In his career, Simon has starred in a string of movies including The Devil Wears Prada, Breath, and L.A Confidential. Pictured at the AACTA Awards in 2018
The film itself, shot in Kakadu National Park and inspired by true events, tells the story of the aftermath of a brutal massacre of an Indigenous community.
‘It’s not easy to tell certain stories because people who put money into movies don’t want to see those stories, or don’t think it’ll make money,’ Simon added.
In his career, Simon has starred in a string of movies including The Devil Wears Prada, Breath, and L.A Confidential.
He has also starred as the lead in CBS shows The Mentalist as Patrick Jane, and The Guardian as Nicholas Fallin.
Significant: The film itself, shot in Kakadu National Park and inspired by true events, tells the story of the aftermath of a brutal massacre of an Indigenous community
Simon revealed that he hopes every Australian wants to see High Ground, to ‘sit with it’ and learn more about the past.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Simon also confirmed that making the film was a transformative experience, and allowed him to reflect further on whether or not he believes the nation does enough to teach youth about Indigenous culture.
‘It’s an interesting thing,’ he said. ‘You can be criticised in Australia for even bringing these things up. You can be considered “Un-Australian”.
‘I think we should have a little more pride and dignity in who we are,’ he said, before admitting that it ‘isn’t easy’ to own that part of history.
‘…But to sit in that history, to sit in an uncomfortable space, is a very healing thing for everyone.’
The movie also stars Jack Thompson, Callan Mulvey, Caren Pistorius and Ryan Corr, and will be released in Australian cinemas on January 28.
TV star: He has also starred as the lead in CBS shows The Mentalist as Patrick Jane, and The Guardian as Nicholas Fallin