Culture //

Fear and Loathing in Canberra

I’m happy to acknowledge that the chances of the 2012 Labor leadership spill being made into a feature film are about the same as anyone actually wanting to see that same movie; which is to say very poor. I mean, it has enough white people for a studio to greenlight it, but recounting the debacle…

Casting by Thomas Sydney St John Casting by Thomas Sydney St John

I’m happy to acknowledge that the chances of the 2012 Labor leadership spill being made into a feature film are about the same as anyone actually wanting to see that same movie; which is to say very poor. I mean, it has enough white people for a studio to greenlight it, but recounting the debacle is going to be about as thrilling as a shot of tryptophan to a mainline vein. Nonetheless, we must concede that the real-life plotline has the revenge, public intrigue and sexual tension of a Euripides play – minus the sympathy for women.

So let the casting begin!

Kevin Rudd - Rainn Wilson
Hear me out on this one. Rainn Wilson is not known as a serious actor, which appropriately mimics Rudd’s notoriety at the time of his (first) appointment. The Office’s infamous Dwight Schrute is the only thespian alive bold, cringe-worthy and boring enough to capture Rudd’s unique brand of humourless psychopathic narcissism. Plus–what did Julia Gillard really do other than metaphorically put Rudd’s stapler in a big bowl of jelly over and over again?

Shortlist: Newt Gingrich, Humpty Dumpty, a piece of Lego

Julia Gillard - Tilda Swinton
I am getting the overriding sense Fear and Loathing would be a Coen Brothers’ film, but Tarentino is another strong contender for director (the plot would feature more than ample levels of backstabbing). This being the case, Tilda Swinton is a shoe-in for the shrill and shrewd co-protagonist. Is she going to bring the adequate dose of intimidating asexuality that made Julia such a hit with the Australian people? Fucking of course. Cynthia Nixon was an intriguing possibility, but neither Canberra nor Julia Gillard could provide the sex or the city she is accustomed to.

Shortlist: Cynthia Nixon, Cate Blanchett, Conan O’Brien, Emma Thompson + wig

Quentin Bryce - Dolly Parton
I can already picture my argument with the slick-haired, shark-eyed fat cats managing the studio’s coffers. They want a cameo for Meryl Streep, but I’m sticking to my guns on the regal quality of Dolly Parton. A haircut and a golden pantsuit – you try telling them apart! Female actors over 60 don’t land roles frequently enough in this silly little movie-making world of ours. And I’m not selling out to Meryl FUCKING Streep! After the “dingo took my baby” accent fiasco, she’s not getting in! Deny her a visa, Turnbull!

Shortlist: Meryl….nope, Helen Mirren, my grandma, the Queen’s stunt double

Tony Abbott - Gollum
“Hollywood has a race problem!” they shout mercilessly. “Hollywood has a gender problem!” they yell tirelessly. “Hollywood has a googly-eyed grommit problem?” – nope, you never hear that shit. Poor Gollum, talk about being typecast! The 589 year-old former hobbit is in desperate need of a serious, political role to bolster his resume and showcase his broader repertoire. This is his chance.

P. S. Do you think he’s had work done?

Shortlist: A young Kevin Costner, Patrick Warburton, the corpse of Leonard Nimoy, Ray Hadley’s id

Peta Credlin - Liz Hurley
Really hard cast here, potentially the toughest of the lot. It would have been a real shock to devoted political junkies if we screwed up the casting of Australia’s darling Lady Macbethian puppeteer. The stakes were high and it ended up being a three-way contest between Liz Hurley, Kristen Stewart and Carmen Electra. Ultimately Kristen Stewart was too young and likeable, and I couldn’t find a photo of Carmen Electra appropriate for publication. As an actor, one must draw on experience. I humbly suggest that Liz Hurley’s romantic encounters with some of the greatest knobs of our generation (see Warne, Shane and Grant, Hugh) have prepared her suitably to work with Mr Abbott.

Shortlist: Kristen Stewart, Carmen Electra, a primary school principal somewhere

Joe Hockey - Jon Favreau
J-Hocks wasn’t really a key player in the entire debacle, which opens his casting up to a plethora of cameos. He’s got a lot of possibilities going for him. You could capitalise on his vague Italian-ness, playing him as a kind of Scorcese corrupt gangster mogul, but this would make him way cooler than he really is. Ultimately, the soft comedic finesse of Jon Favreau was the winner. This guy can capture the bumbling, foolish side of Hockey, injecting some desperately needed comic relief into the flick (which is the role Hockey played so well in Australian politics for the past 5 or so years anyway).

Shortlist: Goodfellas-era Joe Pesci, Glenn Beck/John Boehner hybrid, a vibrating slab of cement

Leigh Sales - Meryl Goddam Streep
Damn you STTTREEEEEEPPPPPP!!!