It’s a mini Home And Away reunion when New Idea meets Stephen Peacocke and Charles Cottier in Sydney to chat about their latest project.
No, their catch-up has nothing to do with a Brax comeback, but it’s still something fans of the show can get excited about.
Cooped Up, the directorial debut for former Home And Away director Kane Guglielmi, is a comedy that sees Charles play wrestler Jake Ridge. After potentially contracting a highly infectious virus, Jake is locked in his childhood home for 21 days.
‘Jake has to be quarantined inside his family home,’ Charles, 24, explains. ‘The only contact he has is with his doctor (played by Wentworth’s Kathryn Beck). He has no phone no internet, no TV. His imagination runs wild.’
There’s a lot riding on Cooped Up (which, after its theatrical premiere in early November, is available for digital download on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon). Kane sold his Blue Mountains home to finance the film – a huge risk for anyone, but to make matters more interesting, his wife was pregnant with their first child at the time.
Enter Stephen Peacocke.
To get the film as much publicity as possible, Kane and Charles called up their friend, who’s been making international waves in Hollywood since leaving the pristine Summer Bay beaches.
‘I was in America at the time and Kane said: “Charles and I are putting this together – there’s a good cameo if you want to be a part of it,” ’ Steve remembers. ‘I thought it would be fun to work with these blokes and it helps to have someone who people are familiar with to get people to watch initially.’
Despite Steve’s hilarious cameo, Charles is the heart and soul of this film.
‘This is Charles’ film and he’s extraordinary in it,’ Steve, 35, admits. ‘It’s one of those performances every actor’s career comes back to – it’s his break-out, and I thought I had to play a tiny part in that.’
Jake is no shrinking violet, and Charles knew he had to step it up to pull off the role.
‘I felt crushing pressure,’ he jokes. ‘I definitely had to bring my absolute A game. I read the script every day for two months in the lead-up and I was in the gym trying to look like a wrestler. I knew I had to give my absolute best and I think I did. I left nothing on the table.’
Now the film has been released, Charles plans to make more movies with Kane – but similarly to Steve, he also has his sights set on Hollywood.
After a huge break-out 2016, with roles in Me Before You and Whisky Tango Foxtrot, it’s back to LA for Steve and his wife Bridgette Sneddon, who is also auditioning for roles Stateside. With a green card in tow, he says the future is bright.
‘I’ve had a good run – 2017 will hopefully be good, I won’t be unemployed, it’s looking OK!’ Steve laughs. ‘I’ve got some great mentors who’ve always said it’s not a sprint, it’s a long-distance race.’