On Monday Australian Story revisits author Matthew Reilly in Los Angeles as he makes his debut behind the camera, directing his own action movie for Netflix.
The stakes are high but he’s confident he’ll find a way through – despite having had barely any previous film directing experience.
“Sometimes blind naivete is your best friend,” says Reilly. “The only way you can find out, is to do it.”
“He’s had a lot of no’s to get to this point,” says partner Kate Freeman. “I asked him once, are you sure you have to direct it? He was not happy I asked that question.”
Not everyone has a childhood dream of directing a blockbuster movie or the self-belief to achieve it.
Sydney-born Reilly grew up on Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The bigger the action the better. As a child he built miniature movie sets in his bedroom and dreamed that one day he would create his own magic.
In his late teens he realised no one was going to hand an inexperienced director a big budget movie so he began to put those action adventures down in writing, ultimately breaking through as a best-selling author. It didn’t cost a cent to have an explosion followed by a car chase when you were doing it on the page.
Reilly sees many parallels between his early struggles as a writer and his latest role as the director of ‘Interceptor’ which features an action-packed plot starring Elsa Pataky as an army lieutenant who disables a nuclear attack on America.
“If they write my headstone, it should say persistence,” he says. “I think you could say the ‘never give up’ message, it’s the feature of every single story I’ve ever written.”
8pm Monday on ABC.