George MacKay, Essie Davis and Justin Kurzel discuss True History of the Kelly Gang
Staying true to Peter Carey’s novel of the same title, Justin Kurzel’s imaginative adaptation stays true to the original plot throughout True History of the Kelly Gang – with a punk rock twist. Carey adds layers to main protagonist Ned Kelly (George MacKay), presenting him as a bisexual cross-dresser struggling to fulfill his destiny, with particular emphasis on his romantic side.
We dive into Kurzel’s intriguing characters, interviewing Mackay, Essie Davis and the director himself.
Davis discusses the infamy of Ned Kelly, a figure whom for Australians is as well-known as the Sydney Opera House. MacKay touches on the contradictions within his character, with the love for his mother being the driving force.
Kurzel tells us why he decided to adapt Peter Carey’s novel and his thinking behind the film’s casting. He shares the specific aesthetics and punk energy he considered essential for creating a world that felt relatable to the modern day.