After having cut his acting teeth on the stages of Theatre South, Geoff Morrell has gone on to establish himself as one of Australia’s most versatile and prolific local film and television actors. He has starred in everything from Blackrock, Oscar and Lucinda, Ten Empty and Rogue to Blue Heelers, The Secret Life of Us, Grass Roots, Changi and Marking Time. Though diverse in selection, there is a remarkable consistency and integrity to Morrell’s performances no matter whether he is playing a bumbling baffoon, concerned father or malnourished prisoner of war. This is evident from his multi AFI Award nominations and win, in 2000, for his humorous and headstrong portrayal of the councilor Col Dunkley in the ABC’s outrageously sly and funny series about local government politics, Grass Roots.
Most recently, he turns his hand to playing Lester Lamb in the tele-movie adaptation of Tim Winton’s highly acclaimed novel, Cloudstreet. Lester is a hopeless farmer but a kind father and despite unfortunate circumstances he remains the eternal optimist. Morrell imbues this character with ample affection and credibility.
Geoff Morrell answers our AFI Quick Quiz*, shedding light on the man behind his public persona. Morrell’s laconic charm and keen wit exceeds most first impressions – despite a not-so-secret love of Jerry Springer!
Cloudstreet the mini series screened on Showtime on 22nd May, 2011, and is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
The AFI Quick Quiz:
Q. What is your favorite word? Sweet
Q. What is your least favorite word? Suite
Q. What turns you on? Colonial Australia
Q. What turns you off? Conservative Politicians
Q. What sound or noise do you love? The Sound of my whippet dreaming
Q. What sound or noise do you hate? Microwave Beep
Q. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Astronaut
Q. What profession would you not like to do? Historian
Q. The last film or DVD you watched? The Switch
Q. The film that changed you, and why? First Australians. SBS TV. Amazing eye opener
Q. Your guilty television pleasure? Baggage. Jerry Springer
Q. Complete this sentence: The thing I love about working in the Australian film and television industry is…that suddenly your life is made easy by being defined and controlled by a yellow call sheet. Takes the guesswork out of life.
Q. Three key mentors who’ve inspired or helped you?
- Edward Morrell, My father.
- Peter Carroll, actor.
- John Hargreaves, actor.
*The AFI Quick Quiz is a version of the Bernard Pivot Questionnaire. Bernard Pivot is a journalist, interviewer and host of French cultural television programs. He developed a list of questions based on Proust’s famous questionnaire. This then formed the basis of James Lipton’s questions to actors on American cable television program Inside the Actors Studio. Now the AFI has its own version. We hope you enjoy it!