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Oddball’s Shane Jacobson

Oddball’s Shane Jacobson

Better known as Kenny thanks to the 2006 national box office hit of the same name about a lovable cleaner, Shane Jacobson has not looked back since. Soon to be seen opposite Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker, he appeared in The Bourne Legacy, played the son of Paul Hogan in Charlie & Boots and was part of the sadly uninspiring 2008 flop, Newcastle. The pick of the school holiday films Oddball, Jacobson is a larger than life farmer with one very special dog.

Shane A. Bassett – Did you know much about the true story before you got the script?

Shane Jacobson – No, that’s why this is so great. We have a movie to share for people like me who did not know. The premise is still in practice today making it even more beautiful. I play the character of Swampy Marsh living on a farm in Warrnambool Victoria with his chickens and sheep protected by his gorgeous Maremma Dog Oddball. On an island nearby, foxes had figured out they could cross during low-tide to attack the penguins. So over time they went from over 1000 to a mini colony of 10. The council took convincing but Swampy trialed his dog to keep them safe and since revolutionised the conservation of penguins all over the world.

SAB – I noticed shades of ‘Kenny’ but did you use your own mannerisms or hang out with the real Swampy enough to use all of his?

SJ – A mixture although a fair bit of him, there was freedom to move because many people don’t know Swampy Marsh. I sincerely mean it when I say I also drew on Santa Claus, a big endearing grandfather type with glasses, that type of thing.

SAB – Was that a wig on your head?

SJ – My hair but they permed it, put some grey in it, I grew my beard out too and permed that a bit too in hot rollers believe it or not. I called a friend to have a beer one day, we meet up, he goes all serious and says please tell me you’re about to do a new movie because that would be a really bad choice for a haircut if not. It even confused my kids quite a lot (laughs).

SAB – The location is stunning, was the weather in your favour during the shoot?

SJ – It’s the shipwreck coastline but it was OK. Although a week or two after we left the area, a massive storm came through with waves breaking over the wall of boulders picking them up and threw them onto the carpark right where we were filming.

SAB – Your chemistry with CoCo Jack Gillies and Sarah Snook is natural, what were they like?

SJ – Thanks mate, they were amazing. Sarah is an incredible actress, I always tell her she’s a top bloke who happens to be a girl and now she’s a superstar. Anyone who doesn’t know about her yet is going to real soon. Australia’s next Cate Blanchett without doubt. As for CoCo, she’s a talent, just simply gorgeous playing my granddaughter with those big brown eyes she could get anything she wants (laughs).

SAB – Why should people go see Oddball?

SJ – Rather than me sell it, let me say I took my own kids, neighbours kids, friends kids, they all absolutely loved it. I looked around at the end and said we achieved the impossible – our kids didn’t talk for an hour and a half. My son said it was fantastic but quick to let me know Toy Story may still be his favourite (laughs). What I love is it’s a true story, nature looking after nature. All ages groups can go in together for a shared cinema experience, Oddball has heart.

SAB – Australian film has a legacy of good family adventures.

SJ – Yes Red Dog is one. Storm Boy impacted me as a child and has similarities, it has come up in conversation quite often recently in regards to Oddball.

SAB – Do you keep in contact with Hoges?

SJ – I was with him just a few months ago, a living legend and mate.

SAB – Tell me about your role in the upcoming highly anticipated film, The Dressmaker?

SJ – I play a store owner and Sarah Snook plays my daughter in that too. I had it written into my contract the only way to look good on film is have Sarah alongside me. Amazing film huge cast but can’t say much else just yet.

SAB – You were in Newcastle (the 2008 movie). What are your memories?

SJ – A guy called Dan Castle made Newcastle – who would have thought? I certainly like Newcastle more now than I did then and I really enjoyed it then. Newcastle is incredible, just a great place. The beachfront is wonderful, ships on the horizon that represents the people and industries, then the wineries are a highlight. I was there recently for a gig – can’t wait to go back.

Shane A. Bassett

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