HUGO Weaving and Aaron Pederson were the big names but fellow actor Tony Barry took centre stage yesterday on the Ipswich set of Mystery Road.
Not that Barry ever needs to be in the background, after almost 60 feature films and 45 TV shows.
However, Tony Barry only lived one year in Ipswich but, because it was his first, being here for his birthday was something special.
"When I looked at the production schedule and realised I was going to be in Ipswich, my birthplace, on my 71st birthday, I was quite chuffed," Barry said.
"It feels a bit bizarre. But comfortable as well; it's a buzz. I've only been back the once since 1941. I was a stand-up comic at a gig in a pub."
Barry's father was stationed near here with the RAAF when his son was born before the family moved to Sydney in 1942.
Mystery Road is a thriller with Aaron Pedersen and Hugo Weaving as detectives investigating the murder of an indigenous teenage girl.
Hugo Weaving is best known as Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy, Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and roles in many Australian dramas.
He arrived in Ipswich on Saturday and, while focused on shooting, spent time checking out the city.
"I've been to a pub on the main drag and played a game of pool and watched the All Blacks thrash the Wallabies and had a few meals with people," Weaving said.
"The set is great for us; it's a ready-made police station. I'm told it only stopped being a police station very recently.
"I only really started in the film yesterday but it's been great.
"They wrapped up filming in Winton four weeks ago. I was doing something else at the time.
"They're really lovely people I'm working with.
"I'm a huge supporter of Ivan's; he's a wonderful director so when he sent me the script and said: 'Do you want to work on this film?' I jumped at the chance."
When the QT visited the set on Monday and yesterday, Aaron Pedersen let it be known he likes to take things easy between takes.
"G'day, I'm Aaron. Nice to meet you guys," he said with a grin.
His acting highlights are Wildside, Water Rats, The Secret Life of Us and City Homicide.
"I think a lot of people have a misconception about me.
"Obviously a lot of the roles I've played have been people who in one way or another are brooders and thinkers," Pedersen said.
"But I like to have a bit of fun on set. I get growled at every now and again if I'm mucking around too much but that's the beauty.
"In between we have a laugh but when it's time to switch on, we all do that.
"Maybe it's just my way of trying to get a comedy; maybe that's my next role."
Pedersen said he had a strong connection to the story, through writer-director Ivan Sen, as young indigenous people.
"It's an exciting story and Ivan's written a great script and I think it will resonate with those who love the whodunit and I think all over the world it will resonate with indigenous people," he said.
"But I think it's just for people who love stories and who think they know the answers to how stories ends. I think they will get a little bit of a surprise in this one."
He drove around Ipswich with Hugo Weaving and found it to be "a lovely place".
"I didn't realise it was meant to be the original capital," he said.
"I love the architecture and the old Queensland houses; they're magnificent around here."
Producer David Jowsey said the outdoor shooting was in Winton but most of the crew were from Brisbane and the Gold Coast so it was easier to do the interiors here.
"It's really good here. It's incredibly useful for filming," Jowsey said. "The look is terrific."
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