Well-known film, television and theatre actor Alastair Osment is familiar with the acclaim that comes with playing lead roles in celebrated productions, but that doesn’t change the fact he’s proud of whenever a project is awarded honours and the rest of the project’s filmmaking team gets to share in the joy.
In the new film “Rider”, Alastair plays the lead role of Lou, who comes into conflict with a relationship breakdown, debt and mental health issues in the confines of a moving vehicle. Reminiscent of single-location films like Ryan Reynold’s “Buried,” "Rider" was shot in China, Korea and Australia and is creating intense interest amongst the international film community for its representation of different cultures and the fact it brings so many diverse creatives, and actors, together in one project.
Already awarded Best Cinematography at the Australian Cinematographers Society Awards for Mark Broadbent’s impressive filming style, the film is due to premiere at Cinéfondation Festival De Cannes in 2018, and star Alastair Osment could not be more thrilled. “Everyone worked really hard on the film, and it shows. We’re excited for people to see it.” Alastair, who was also recently nominated for Best Actor at the prestigious ‘Made in the West Film Festival’ in Australia for his leading role in the film “A Note to Self”, only had little time to prepare for the project but it’s clear that he gave it his all.
In clear proof of Alastair’s extraordinary abilities, co-writer Elizabeth Simard, known for her work on the award-winning feature film “Rise,” recounts the casting process and how Alastair was the only actor in Australia who could play Lou. “At the commencement of the feature co-production, 'Rider,' I knew immediately that Alastair was the best fit for the project and after an initial audition, we offered him the leading role.”
The director, Morgan Healy, known for his impressive documentary “Making Pan Jinlian,” tells our editors that “Alastair’s performance was courageous, raw, honest and bold and ultimately it was this performance that was pivotal to the success of the film. Alastair’s natural talent, craft skill and magnetic energy combine to make him a formidable talent and a one of the most exciting young actors in our industry.”
The praise heaped on Alastair by the industry and public alike is fueled by his willingness to continually evolve his craft. The 6’2” leading man is a graduate of WAAPA, which counts Oscar-nominee Hugh Jackman, “Suicide Squad” star Jai Courtney and “Stranger Things” bad-boy Dacre Montgomery among its impressive alumni. Despite the classical training given to him, Alastair has never wavered in his decade long career to improve his talent in the way that Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett do. “I don’t think you can ever stop being curious about how to be better as an actor.”
Indeed, Alastair continually trains with Leonardo DiCaprio’s coach Larry Moss whenever he visits Australia. Moss, who is also well known for coaching Hilary Swank and Helen Hunt to Oscar-glory for their respective roles in “Boys Don’t Cry” and “As Good As It Gets,” has become a mentor to Alastair. “Larry Moss has said that ‘through art we can open hearts that were once shut,” Alastair explains. “To me that means, whether a performance is in film, television or theatre, as long as I open and reveal something of myself, through a character, it allows the audience to experience those emotions as well and to connect to a greater sense of humanity.”
Further to that, Alastair enjoys an incredibly successful career in Australian theatre, having performed the lead role of Frazer in “Sweet Phoebe” under the direction of acclaimed auteur Anthony Skuse at the renowned venue, The Old Fitz in Sydney. This is just one of dozens of theatre performances in which Alastair has starred, and allowed him to build a highly-regarded reputation in the industry as a true thespian. Such is the strength of Alastair’s reputation, he was given a Showcast Award from the recently deceased and renowned Elizabeth Kemp, coach to Bradley Cooper.
It was this training and theatre experience that allowed Alastair to access the deep emotion required for the role of Lou, and deliver a performance that has created a lot of chatter in anticipation of the awards-season that will follow the film’s premiere. “The people who have seen it have been very complimentary,” Alastair explains. “That’s obviously a nice feeling.”
Director Morgan eloquently summarises Alastair’s star-appeal. “In the editing room and on the screen Alastair jumps off it, commanding attention and raising the performances of all those around him. I have no trouble in endorsing him as an actor of the highest quality.”