interview: not suitable for children
What spent nearly a decade in the making, Peter Templeman’s debut feature film Not Suitable For Children is a well-rounded rom-com that boasts two charming leads – Jonah (Ryan Kwantan) and his sassy, more sensible best friend Stevie (played by newcomer Sarah Snook).
Set in Sydney, the film follows three housemates whose lives are turned upside down when Jonah is diagnosed with Testicular cancer. With infertility on the horizon, he sets out to have a child before it’s too late. “Jonah goes on a journey to have a kid – that‘s his goal, but he finds that while trying to achieve that, there are more important things in life other than parties and one night stands. Something deeper and more human” Snook explains.
Not Suitable For Children marks Sarah Snook’s first lead role. “I’m very appreciate and grateful of Peter to really push for me and take the risk on me because I hadn’t done a feature before. Having that faith in me was very humbling”. As a graduate of NIDA, Snook can appreciate the importance of honing your acting skills, but doesn’t believe that attending drama school is a necessity for aspiring actors. “It can help with your confidence. It’s great to have a few touchstones of the training you’ve done [while on set], but it just depends on where you want to go with your career. With that education I will hopefully be able to do more theatre and spread myself across other mediums.”
Snook was initially drawn to this film because of the witty script. “The banter pushes the plot forward. Michael is a very talented writer so that naturalism is easy to do when you have a text that lends itself to that”. She was also able to relate to some of her character’s attributes. “I’m a bit of a tom boy” Snook says. “So I definitely fitted well into that part of Stevie”.
One of her other highlights was working with the cast. “Ryan Kwantan is so generous and interested. He’s such a good soul” she says. “And I totally was a True Blood fan!” she giggles. Snook also relished the chance to work with Ryan Corr who plays her other housemate, Gus. “We met at drama school, so it was really good to get to know him – he is such a talented actor. He brought a real integrity to Gus – he wasn’t just a sub-character – he was really a part of that house”.
With music from bands such as The Black Keys and Gorillaz as well as some upcoming Australian artists, Snook particularly enjoyed shooting the ‘party’ scenes and says “whenever I see the film I want to dance because it has such a great soundtrack”.
Shortly after wrapping on Not Suitable For Children, Snook headed over the US to star in a horror film called Jessabelle. “It was a very surreal experience. We shot it on the east coast in North Carolina and I loved it. It was a challenge being on the other side of the world, but I tried to do as many of my own stunts as possible– it was pretty fun”.
Despite enjoying her time in the States, Snook doesn’t have any solid plans to move to Hollywood in the near future. “I would hope to be able to do as much work both here and there without having to move. I think we have a really talented pool of writers, directors and actors” she says.
Not Suitable For Children is in cinemas from July 12th.