Look at this man. Bloody LOOK AT HIM.
That’s Barry Otto, famous Aussie actor. As in, Doug Hastings from Strictly Ballroom, has-been-in-everything Barry Otto. He’s kinda a big deal, and he’s also in his mid-70’s but still reps Gucci like a fucking boss.
He’s the star of new short-film BAZ, directed by his own kid – the very accomplished film director Gracie Otto.
The short-film has premiered on spankin’ new fashion and culture destination SIDE-NOTE, which takes a fresh look at style.
It’s been created by two of fashion industry heavyweights, Karla Clarke and Emma Kalfus, and film-maker Simon Morehead. They’ve just launched with their first edition, titled Influence, which focuses on the concept of influence and what denotes an ‘influencer’ via photographic, written and video content.
Barry Otto is not only wild as a human being (in the best way), he’s impeccably stylish. While Karla Clarke was involved from as stylist for the video, she’s quick to point out that Barry was very much involved in the process, and loves fashion.
I brought the clothes and then did my usual sell of what I thought was the strongest, and Barry did the same with his own clothes – which included a running commentary on where each piece was purchased and whether it was in fact made by his own hands. He very much valued my feedback as I did his.
Barry actually envisioned becoming a fashion designer to start out with, having purchased a sewing machine at 17 and creating dresses for his younger sister Denise, then a model.
I thought I would be a dress maker like YSL, and go to Paris for a few years to try and get into his studio to work with him. But I moved onto working in theatre. I started in Brisbane at the Brisbane Repertory Theatre Society, and that opened up another world – acting.
He also doesn’t think he’s cool. Wot.
I don’t know. I don’t think of myself that way. A journalist once said I have such swagger, “Barry Otto has swagger”, and I thought about that. I don’t know (dances in chair) I’m an actor for god’s sake! If I have to have swagger I’ll have swagger.
While most of us would find it insanely weird to direct our very successful actor parent in a film, Gracie – perhaps because she’s already a very experienced director with primo industry cred – found the experience easy.
I think the biggest scandal of all is that I didn’t in fact direct him at all. I deliberately didn’t tell him what I wanted to capture because I didn’t want him to overthink any of it. It helps that I have worked with him before, (he acted in two of my short films, and we acted in a film together). He is professional and very fun. He gives everything even in a rehearsal, so the hardest part was trying to get him to conserve his energy. But he loves working with young people as well and giving people a chance and I think he really loved dressing up and having fun in the house.
Basically can we just be you when we grow up, Barry? That’d be great. Also come over and clear out our wardrobes if you’ve got time.
Check out more from SIDE-NOTE here.Image: SIDE-NOTE / Jake Terrey @ The Artist Group