Eric Bana loves small budget Aussie flicks and beer

SYDNEY, May 29 (Reuters Life!) - Australian actor Eric Bana may be one of Hollywood’s big stars, but he still enjoys shooting low-budget Australian films because he can go to the pub after a day of filming.

Australian actor Eric Bana (R) smiles as director Richard Roxburgh talks during a news conference for their new film "Romulus, My Father" at the Sydney Theater Company May 29, 2007. Bana may be one of Hollywood's big stars, but he still enjoys shooting low-budget Australian films because he can go to the pub after a day of filming. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Bana’s latest flick, “Romulus, My Father”, the story of a migrant family dealing with mental illness, had its world premiere on Sunday in the small rural Australian town of Castlemaine, where it was filmed in just 35 days.

“The large budget films have a fat to them where people don’t get told when to stop. On a little film like this you get told to stop all day long,” Bana told a Sydney news conference to promote the film.

“You all know that at 5.45 or at 6.00 you’re going to be in the pub and there is a certain creativity that comes from that. It’s definitely easier to remember people’s names,” said Bana, star of Hollywood blockbusters “The Hulk” and “Troy”.

“Romulus, My Father” is based on Raimond Gaita’s childhood memoirs of the same title. Set in the 1960s, the film is about a son’s relationship with his migrant father, played by Bana, while struggling with his mother’s depression and infidelity.

Gaita was initially reluctant to allow the book to be made into a film because he was unsure about how its sensitive themes would translate to the big screen, said Australian director Richard Roxburgh.

“He was also concerned we would turn it into a Hollywood thing,” said Roxburgh, who stared in “Moulin Rouge” alongside compatriot Nicole Kidman.

“Indeed any filmmaker would try and turn it into a melodrama because the nature of the material is such that it could easily slip that way,” he said.

Australian film critics have praised the dark film, which is predominately a view from Gaita’s childhood perspective.

“The film gives you experience without analysis, intensity without relief. It’s a brave and honorable attempt, bristling with character,” said film critic Sandra Hall in The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

“But I can’t help wishing that it had a little more personality,” wrote Hall.