We interviewed Aussie star Lachlan Buchanan about his role in surf movie, Newcastle.

Didn’t you play a little grommet in Home And Away as well?
I wasn’t so much a surfer, I was more like a shaggy kind of feral kid … He had a job as a gardener and would sleep in his car.

Did you do all your own surfing in the film?
I got to do about half of the surfing because my character is at pro-junior level. I’m not as good as that, so we actually got a pro-junior to do the stuff that I couldn’t do myself.

How did the cameramen get all that amazing footage?
We had four or five photographers who were out there just floating in the water. Three of the guys also shoot all the pros like Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning. Basically you surf normally, and they’ll 
be hiding in the waves, with their flippers and their cameras, and you just go straight for them and they get out of the way.

It’s quite brave for a surfing film to have a gay sub-plot, don’t you think?
It is kind of a taboo thing still, but I think he [director, Dan Castle] wanted to touch on that particular issue in that particular world because people are like, “What are you talking about?” It’s one of those sports that has that masculinity thing attached to it, so having a gay element shakes that theory. He didn’t make it over the top. It was very subtle, very realistic.

There was also a lot of running around naked.
Yeah, there was a lot of that. It was kind of nerve-wracking at first because you’re really opening yourself up. The crew were really great and the first AD [assistant director] was like, “If you guys aren’t comfortable, we’ll strip down”.

You got to work with venerable Aussie actor Barry Otto. What’s he like?
He’s funny, he’s insane – in a good way. He’s so quirky and his mind’s racing a million miles an hour, but I did learn a lot from him, his way of mumbling to himself to get into character and his focus. It was fascinating to watch him.

With your good looks you must have a lot of female fans sniffing around.
Yeah, they’re out there … I’m based in LA now and my agency forwards on stuff that people send in. Actually, a lot comes from Japan – they’re crazy for surfing. The weirdest was when an Australian woman in her fifties sent me a picture of herself holding her cat … I don’t want to sound like an arsehole but at the end of the day, you kinda just go, “What do I do with this?”

» Newcastle out on DVD and Blu-ray on May 24

Watch the Newcastle trailer here.

Words: Alison Grinter