Zac Garred knows exactly what he’d do if Australia was invaded.
He’d get his Mark Waugh V100 cricket bat, wrap his Paul Harragon 1995 vintage Blues jersey around his shoulders and battle his way to his mate Dawso’s house.
“Maybe we’d recommission Fort Scratchley,” he said, adding that Dawso knows a thing or two about artillery.
Zac is Newcastle’s man in Hollywood, which isn’t hard to believe with an imagination like that.
The 30-year-old, who grew up in New Lambton, stars in a sci-fi action film that involves an invasion of Australia.
Occupation, to be released this year, features a group of residents who are forced to unite to resist and fight the invaders.
Zac plays a homeless bloke named Dennis.
“Dennis is a bloke in between lives and, curiously, the chaos he finds himself in gives him more stability than he has had for some time. However his past is very mysterious,” Zac said.
The movie also includes actors Bruce Spence, Jacqueline McKenzie and Temuera Morrison.
“We spent eight weeks running around the bush playing soldiers in my home country, after two years without seeing it. Could not have been a better time,” Zac said.
Zac said invasion stories evoke a “sense of the unknown”.
“It’s that trepidation we have about our position in the universe. We see ourselves as apex, but every human – deep down in some way – harbours a curiosity for what is out there and what that may entail, good or bad,” he said.
“Plus, the notion of humanity banding together to fight for a common cause is very idealistic.”
Asked how he thinks Aussies would react if we were invaded, he said: “I have always been fascinated with the fabled Brisbane Line in World War II”.
This was a contentious Australian defence plan to concede the northern part of the country to the Japanese in an invasion.
Despite this, Zac said he had confidence in “our ability as a people to go bush and sort out” any invaders.
While researching for Occupation, he came across the story of the Aboriginal warrior Pemulwuy, of the Bidjigal tribe.
“If we ever find ourselves invaded, there’s our inspiration right there.
“He scared the colonists so deeply, people believed he was actually a spirit summoned by the Bidjigal.”
He was shot three times and survived each hit, Zac said.
“He was their William Wallace.”
Mel Gibson played Wallace in Braveheart.
“They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!” he famously said.
Speaking of Scotland, we noticed that a story in The Herald in Scotland featured Newcastle’s lockout laws.
The Scottish, it seems, are trying to reduce alcohol-related violence on their streets.
Topics checked in with our correspondent in Glasgow, who said: “Och, we won't let those Aussie bastids take our bevvies off us. Next they'll be after our wee lassies and then our freedom”.
Seriously though, we reckon the Scottish government should fly Tony Brown over as a consultant. He’ll help ‘em out.
Off Your Trolley
A Topics spy sent a photo of a sign from the Waratah shops.
“Another trolley saved from a life of crime,” the sign said, adding “Thanks for putting me back.”
Yep, don’t be lazy, people. Put your shopping trolleys back. Trolleys do it tough – they’re always getting pushed around.