STARS: Simon Baker, Samson Coulter and Ben Spence in a still from the film Breath.
STARS: Simon Baker, Samson Coulter and Ben Spence in a still from the film Breath.

Simon Baker's task to cast Loonie and Pikelet for Breath

CASTING two teen actors for Simon Baker's film Breath was not easy, and the idea of casting teen actors who can surf was almost an impossible task.

So to cast the roles of Loonie and Pikelet, the production of Breath (Simon Baker's first film as a director, an adaptation of Tim Winton's award-winning book of the same name) decided to call out for surfers who may be interested in acting.

After a year-long search across the nation, Ben Spence was cast as Loonie and Samson Coulter as Pikelet.

Simon Baker said the surfers had to get used to the movie set, but at the end they did an excellent job.

"For them, there is more fear associated with being in a movie and how to behave with a camera and a bunch of people around you, as opposed to jumping in the water, which is very familiar to them."

Coulter agreed with Baker.

"Getting over the fear of surf and translate it to the film, I don't think all the surfing in the world could prepare me to the transition into acting in a film."

Baker reminded them that acting was similar to surfing: "When you are surfing you paddle along to a wave and you have 'a moment' and it's right then and there".

"When you are acting there is all this faffing around and nonsense, and when the director says 'action!' then you have that moment, and you can f*** it up or you can carry on through it. You can pop it up and not look too bad, or you can kill it."

Coulter agreed, because "when you are surfing you start to understand the different components of what makes it scary and then you get a grasp on it, it was similar with acting."

Breath opens in cinemas today.

In our exclusive content for subscribers, the 48-year old actor talks to The Northern Star about his first memories of the sea and explains why the project is so important to him.