IT'S not every day one comes face to face with a serial killer and lives to tell the tale.

Fortunately for me I was interviewing John Jarratt, who only moonlights as a serial killer when portraying the deeply disturbed Mick Taylor in the hit Australian slasher films Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek 2.

In real life, it turns out John Jarratt is a lot of fun.

He was in Maryborough to promote his new film, titled StalkHer, which promises to be as deliciously scary as the Wolf Creek series and I was lucky enough to be able to ask him a few questions.

Q What is it like travelling around promoting your film?

A To be honest it's very hard work because we cover many, many miles. For instance we did Adelaide and Mount Gambia is four hours away and we promised we'd do Mount Gambia, but the only way we could do that is to drive four- and-a-half hours. So we did Adelaide and that finished at about 9.30pm, then we drove to Mount Gambia and got there about 1 or 2am. I had to get up at 6 in the morning for FM radio, then do the screening that night and then drive back again.

So yes, it's been very full-on work. I think its 23 cinemas in 28 days. It's been the most exhausting month of my life.

Q It looks like it's an entertaining film.

A I think it is, yeah. Most people, well all the Q and As, and the premiere in Sydney and Melbourne and stuff, people hung around and that's always a really good sign, they wanted to party, wanted to have a good time, wanted to discuss it. The merriment was pretty good.

Q Is it fair to say the film starts out a certain way and then turns a situation on its head?

A Oh yes it is. Yes, yes, it's got comedy, romance, a thriller, intrigue. It's a who dunnit. It's very interesting in that way.

Q Obviously people love you from Wolf Creek. They love those movies.

A That's the most iconic thing I've been doing lately.

Q Was that the first horror that you had done?

A No. I did a film called Next of Kin in 1982. I was the leading lady's boyfriend, you know the one who's getting terrified and has to overcome the odds of the bad people in the loony hospital.

Q And what was it like to make a switch from playing the good guy to playing someone like Mick Taylor?

A It's always more fun to play the bad guy. There's a lot more levels to mess with and you get to knock people around. As Hugh Jackman said the other day, I was watching Hugh on Graham Norton, when you play the hero you get the crap beat out of you until the last fight when you win and when you're the bad guy you win all the fights except the last one.

Q Except you have won the last one on several occasions.

A Mick never loses, never dies.

Q What was it like creating an iconic character like Mick?

A Well I didn't know I was creating an iconic character. I just was creating the character and it was just like every other movie, I had to look at who he was and how he did things and why he did things.

Q What did you take your inspiration from?

A In the end I just don't understand how anyone can be a serial killer or a psychopath or just do any of the things he does. Because I'm a father of six and I've got two grandkids. Those kind of people, I don't like them at all, they're horrible people. So the best way for people to play him is to say well, what would he be like if he wasn't a psychopath and he wasn't a serial killer. If he wasn't evil he would be a larrikin, knockabout bloke. So he was an impersonation of my dad just with serial killer and psychopath added.

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