Jordan Waller has hit the ground running when it comes to making his name on stage and screen (big and small). Probably most famous for playing Lord Alfred Paget in ITV’s Victoria, most fans may not know that Waller had also had huge success in his one man show at 2019’s Edinburgh Festival where the focus was what some people may consider an unconventional upbringing.
Now Waller has shed his period drama performances (for now at least) and is looking to his future, showing off his comedy writing and his tastes for horror in Two Heads Creek. I caught up with Jordan Waller where we talked about horror, cultural differences and Brexit and how they overlap.
How did you come up with the idea for Two Heads Creek?
Jordan Waller – It was the day of the Brexit Referendum result, the culmination of an absurd, horrific, bizarre year of nonsense. I woke up to David Dimbleby croaking the result on the BBC and just thought – that poor, tired, ugly man. He looks like he’s starring in a horror movie.
Two Heads Creek could have been set anywhere, so besides working with an Australian director, why set it there? Was that always the intention?
I originally planned to set it in Norfolk – the home of inbreeding. But fortune, in every sense of the word, changed the path of production and years later, we found ourselves sweating in the outback of Australia for some godforsaken reason.
You and Kathryn Wilder have great chemistry in the film, had you worked together before?
Kathryn is a brilliant actor. I met her at a party after having seen her in a Kenneth Branagh production of Romeo and Juliet where her comic timing totally stole the show. We’d never worked together before but we got on, I think, because we’re both ginger. The chemistry is all down to that deep understanding. But having worked with her once, I hope never to work with her again because she’s a kleptomaniac and a hard drinker.
Do you have a favourite horror movie?
Silence of the lambs. I watched it when I was twelve, illegally. It’s no wonder I’m disturbed enough to write what I have.
Do you think horror movies are better with lots of blood or a slow burn intensity?
There’s room for both – but I think I’m with Tarantino on the blood front. We want to know what’s going on in the inside of a character – I may have taken it too literally.
There are quite a few stereotypes about Australians in Two Heads Creek, are there any stereotypes you like or dislike about the English?
Stereotypes are great weapons for oppressors – anything else is punching down, which is a bit 70s for me. The white English are game for all manner of mockery. So, any stereotype knocking our bad teeth, snobbishness, shopkeeping-mentality, loud-mouthed, brash, parochial, patriarchal, queue-loathing, weather-complaining, systemically racist, pig-fucking, Boris Johnson voting, bad salad qualities is – very welcome. Because at least we’re not French.
Acting in a movie you wrote yourself must be quite a challenge, do you prefer acting or writing?
I see them as very different things, and I couldn’t say whether I prefer one or the other. One I do in my pants; the other, I only sometimes do in my pants.
Have the events of this year (pandemic, protests etc) had a big effect on you? Do you think it will change how you work in the future?
It’s been horrific. It’s changed the world; hopefully, it’ll be for the better in the long run. For now, I’m just keen to get on and get back to work.
You’ve worked on many period pieces (Victoria, The Darkest Hour, Love & Friendship), is there any period of history that interests you most?
I’d love to do something set in the future.
Is there anything you can talk about that you’re working on next?
I’ve got three projects in the pipeline: two about trains, one about cars and another about lesbians.
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