Early risers might have seen Russell and Yilmaz Erdogan, the Turkish star who plays Major Hasan in The Water Diviner, on Channels Seven’s Sunrise show this morning. They spoke about their experiences shooting in the extreme heat in South Australia, and the significance of Gallipoli-Canakkale to Australians and Turks. It was Yilmaz’ first ever interview in English and he charmed them. For those us who are not so early risers there is this link.
“Crowe is in Lane Cove to do what publicists call a “long lead” interview for his new film, The Water Diviner, which releases in Australia on Boxing Day. Crowe plays Victorian farmer Joshua Connor, who travels to Turkey in 1919 to discover the fate of his three sons, missing in action after the senseless bloodbath of Gallipoli. Co-written by Andrew Knight (one of the writers of ABC’s critically acclaimed Rake) and Andrew Anastasios, and inspired by the true story of a father who travelled to the Dardanelles to find the remains of his son, The Water Diviner is Crowe’s directorial debut. It’s the work of an actor and director in his professional prime; he’s the best thing in what is an exquisitely crafted drama, one that clutches your heart and has you welling up in several memorable scenes.”
This is an excerpt from a very entertaining and expansive article (the best I can recall) on Russell by Greg Callaghan in today’s “Good Weekend” section of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers. In an interview with Greg Russell speaks about why he chose to direct The Water Diviner. There is also a video intro by Greg where he speaks about some of the more moving moments of The Water Diviner and muses on Russell’s “guts, grandeur and gravitas”. See the full article and video here.
This new clip will give you a taste of the fine level of the performances that Jai Courtney and Yilmaz Erdogan give in the film. Set on the beach at Gallipoli they discuss whether to help Connor, Russell’s character, look for his sons or not. I’m really excited to see how people respond to Jai and both Turkish leads, Yilmaz Erdogan and Cem Yilmaz, who are legends in their own country but little known in Australia, outside the Turkish community. Click here for a sneak peak.
Before shooting The Water Diviner, Russell Crowe took the cast to his property in New South Wales for a WW1 bootcamp. Part bonding, part method acting, part torture, they all seemed to enjoy themselves. See the official video here.
There was a great interview with Russell Crowe this evening on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program here in Australia. He copped a bit of friendly fire from the interviewer, Mike Willesee, who is a current affairs icon in Australia (for our OS friends) but Russell took it all in good humour. He had some interesting things to say about the Gallipoli legend and suggested that as a nation Australia should be mature enough now to reflect on the Gallipoli campaign with honesty and perhaps even through the eyes of the people we invaded. A thought provoking interview that you can see and read about on the Sunday Night website.
The World Premiere of The Water Diviner is shaping up to be a spectacular event to kick off the festive season. Russell (Crowe) and Olga (Kurylenko) will be gracing the red carpet, on December 2 at the State Theatre in Sydney, along with their co-stars Jai Courtney, Jacqueline McKenzie, Steve Bastoni, Megan Gale and Dan Wylie. Spare a thought for the poor writers who will blend into the carpet amidst such elegant talent.
It is wonderful to be in the State Theatre; a beautiful, iconic venue with such a rich history. If you find yourself in there for a show check out the crystal chandelier – it weighs a ton (actually 4 tonne). The theatre also has an auspicious movie history, screening Movietone newsreels during WW2, as well as being home to the Sydney Film Festival. Check out the ornate foyer below – not your average multiplex.
Tomorrow is Remembrance Day in Australia. Originally called Armistice Day, on the 11th hour of 11th day of the 11th month we pause for a moment to commemorate the end of the Great War in 1918. It is also a time when Australians reflect on the courage and sacrifice of those who have served in the armed forces, and the impact on them and their families.
This year Australians can show their appreciation for returned servicemen by running down to their nearest Woolworths supermarket and buying a Limited Edition “The Water Diviner” tin of Anzac biscuits. Produced by Modern Baking proceeds will assist the RSL who have been supporting veterans and their families since 1916. You could also win a trip to Turkey in 2015, or The Water Diviner movie passes.
I remember as a kid raiding my grandmother’s biscuit tin in her kitchen in Holbrook, in country NSW, and have fond memories of the Anzac biscuits she used to bake. I’m going to surprise her by popping one of these tins of biscuits in the mail.
For non-Aussies who are wondering what on earth Anzac biscuit are, they are round, hard biscuits made with oats, coconut, treacle and flour. See a classic recipe here. Originally they were made by Australian women for soldiers on the front during World War 1. For more about the history of the Anzac bicky click here. They are now as Aussie as Vegemite and meat pies and pavlovas.
Since the announcement of the US release with Warner Bros. I’ve had a few people asking about release dates for other territories. Below is a list of dates from The Water Diviner entry on IMDB as they currently stand. If the dates move you should be able to find the update on IMDB here. We hope you enjoy the film wherever you come from.
|Australia||26 December 2014|
|New Zealand||26 December 2014|
|Turkey||26 December 2014|
|Italy||8 January 2015|
|Lithuania||9 January 2015|
|Malaysia||22 January 2015|
|Austria||26 February 2015|
|Portugal||26 February 2015|
|Brazil||5 March 2015|
|Denmark||19 March 2015|
|Finland||20 March 2015|
|Norway||20 March 2015|
|Romania||27 March 2015|
|UK||3 April 2015|
|Belgium||15 April 2015|
|Switzerland||15 April 2015||(German speaking region)|
|France||15 April 2015|
|Netherlands||16 April 2015|
|USA||24 April 2015|
|Germany||7 May 2015|
|Sweden||8 May 2015|
News from Burbank California. For all our North American friends who have been asking when they’ll be able to see Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, I’m excited to say that The Water Diviner has been picked up by Warner Bros. and is slated for cinemas on the 24th April, 2015. See the Warner Bros. announcement here and Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and Variety.
The date might sound a bit random for non-Aussies but it is an incredibly auspicious and meaningful one for we Antipodeans. It is the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli invasion of Turkey by Australian and Allied troops. (See information about the 100th Anniversary Commemorations here). As the curtains are drawn on The Water Diviner in cinemas across the US, our dawn services marking the 100th anniversary will be under way here in Melbourne, across the country, and on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
The deal was announced by Brett Ratner of RatPac at the American Film Market yesterday. He and James Packer are our Executive Producers along with Andrew Knight, John Collee and Kerry Stokes. The film’s producer’s are Andrew Mason, Troy Lum and Keith Roger. For the full cast and crew see IMDB.