Hunter Page-Lochard, 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship Finalist
Hunter Page-Lochard has already built an impressive list of acting credits throughout his young career so far, rivaled perhaps only by his equally impressive list of awards and nominations. His performance in the 2015 Belvoir Theatre Company production of Brothers Wreck saw Hunter nominated for a Helpmann Award and take home both the Sydney Theatre Award and Sydney Glug Award for Best Newcomer. Most recently, he was nominated for The Graham Kennedy Newcomer Award at the 2017 TV Week Logie Awards for his lead role performance in the ABC/Goalpost Pictures television series Cleverman. The Sydney-sider has also appeared in numerous feature films including Around the Block The Sapphires and Bran Nue Dae as well as notable guest roles on television programs Wentworth and Water Rats.
AiF: Where do you call home right now?
HPL: Home for me is Sydney – I am a Camperdown boy, born and bred.
AiF: When did the acting bug first bite you and you knew it was your calling?
HPL: It feels like I’ve been acting and wanting to act ever since I could think [laughs]! My parents are both dancers so I’ve grown up in a performing arts family and always been around the limelight. I just remember wanting to be an actor ever since I could actually comprehend what a movie was.
AiF: What inspires you in life?
HPL: Creativity inspires me so much, the whole spectrum of creation and media across the board! I love that we all have the power to achieve anything we set our sights on through creativity – it’s our superpower. From architecture to religion to mathematics…everything we experience in life has been created and that’s so exciting to me.
AiF: Who are some of your favorite actors and filmmakers and why do they resonate with you?
HPL: That list changes a lot for me! And so often I find I’m inspired by new people just starting out in the business but I really like English actor and rapper Riz Ahmed, his performance skills are awesome. I’m also a huge fan of Birdman director Alejandro González, his naturalism really inspires me.
AiF: What work are you most proud of creating so far in your career?
I performed in the theater production of Brothers Wreck for the Belvoir Theatre Company in Sydney in 2015 and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life so far. The play was directed by the amazing Leah Purcell and I felt like I really “went there” with my character who was dealing with a family member’s suicide. The play ran for sixty nights so it was pretty intense and in a case of art imitating life, I was unfortunately dealing with a similar situation in real life. But the role was such a therapeutic experience for me and I ended up being nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor (up against Hugo Weaving!) and won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Newcomer.
AiF: How are you hoping your career will unfold in the years to come?
HPL: [Laughs] I’ve got big ambitions! But if you don’t have big dreams then you’re not really putting anything out to the Universe I guess. I would love to be acting consistently in the States and raising my profile over there. And I hope in the years to come I’ll be in more “rooms” more often and in a position to be an inspiration to others with respect to the whole diversity movement right now. I’m also a big fan or writing and directing and just wrote, directed and starred in my first short film. I’m a huge advocate of creating your own work if the roles aren’t there.
AiF: When did you first hear about the Heath Ledger Scholarship and make the decision to enter?
HPL: I feel like I’ve always known about it – it’s such a big deal in the Australian film industry. This is the second year I’ve applied and I’m so happy to be a finalist.
AiF: What does California represent for you in terms of your dreams, aspirations and goals in life?
HPL: I’m lucky enough to have a U.S. passport because my mum is from New York but I’ve always seen myself living in L.A. because it’s really where it’s all happening and where all the creative projects are. Even the Uber drivers in L.A. want to be writers or actors! And I think that’s one of the most beautiful things about California, it’s such a big cauldron of creativity and it inspires me so much.
AiF: What are your favorite parts of California and what makes them so appealing?
HPL: Los Angeles is my favorite part of California for sure! I have a lot of friends who live there and I’m always so in awe and inspired by the literal characters you meet there every single day. When you’re a writer you love that! No wonder so many people who live there are artists.
AiF: What would it mean to you if you won the Heath Ledger Scholarship for 2017?
HPL: Being indigenous and being a part of that diversity it would be such a huge privilege. And I so want to get to L.A. and really give it my all or nothing! Winning the Scholarship would provide so many great opportunities for me to learn and network and hopefully see my career start to really blossom. It would be awesome.
Heath Ledger Scholarship 2017 presenting partners are Qantas, Visit California, Screenwise and Ausfilm.
AiF would also like to thank Penfolds and Kate Raynor & Associates, official Immigration law partner.