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TV Week: War Stories

With only a week to go until the release of this book classic, we catch up with the film’s young stars.

Fiona & Homer
Although it doesn’t develop far into this movie, there’s a tentative interest between local hoodlum Homer (Deniz Akdeniz) and uptight princess Fiona (Phoebe Tonkin) – a case of opposites attracting, if there ever was one. And it’s a dynamic made all the more interesting as each character goes through a transformation in the film.

“At the start, Homer’s just being a smart-arse – then we get into the war and that’s a new experience because he has to become a completely different person,” Deniz explains.

As for Fiona, Phoebe says, “She’s very misunderstood and insecure. I think she’s intelligent, but she isn’t street smart – she’s been sheltered.”

To get into character, brunette Phoebe had to dye her hair blonde – “it was such hugh maintenance,” she says – and attend etiquette class.

“I’m more of a tomboy than Fi is,” she admits. “In the classes, I learnt how to walk with this woman who teaches girls how to enter pageants.”

One of the biggest challenges for Phoebe was a scene in which Homer ogles her as she strips down to a bikini.

“We had to do a while lot of takes,” she laughs. “They’d keep calling cut and say, ‘Phoebe, you look really awkward’ or ‘do it slower’, and I said, ‘You’re basically trying to tell me I’m really unsexy’.”

Deniz faced his own challenge when he jumped over a fence and straight onto a rock during one scene.

“My ankle swelled up like a ball,” he says, “but we had to keep going. I hobbled my way through. You’ve got to have war stories in an action film.”

Published August 2010