Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward on men's mental health, women in film and family affairs

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward visited Build Series Sydney to chat about their new film, Palm Beach. Photo: Build Series Sydney.

In Rachel Ward’s funny, uplifting comedy/drama a group of lifelong 60-something year-old friends reunite to celebrate a special party at Sydney’s idyllic Palm Beach; but tension mounts when deep secrets emerge.

Aussie film industry icons and ‘power couple’ Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward were on hand to chat about their new drama/comedy, Palm Beach, with host Danny Clayton on Build Series Sydney.

The home-grown flick - which was six years in the making - follows a group of lifelong 60-something-year-old friends who reunite to celebrate a special birthday at Sydney’s idyllic Palm Beach.

The production was a family affair, with actor Bryan in front of the camera and Rachel in the director’s chair. The pair recruited Bryan’s long-time pal Sam Neil for the cast along with their own daughter, Matilda.

“I’m really proud, and I’m really glad she’s doing this kind of work,” Bryan said.

Rachel told Danny that working with her husband of almost four decades was a delight - “Not that we don’t have some humdingers!” she laughed.

The award-winning film maker went on to explain that the decision to make sure 51 percent of the crew - including the five key artistic decision makers - were female was a “conscious thing.”

“If we don’t do it it will never change,” she said, adding that there is “some great [female] talent out there.”

Another topic the film tackles on screen is men’s mental health, with Bryan’s own experience with anxiety in his seventies forming the basis of the plot.

“I was surprised by the amount of talk about men and mental health following the film’s release,” Bryan said.

“Maybe men needed to be given liberty to talk about it and I don’t quite understand why,” he added.

Watch the video above to see Rachel and Bryan’s complete interview.

Mental health support for yourself or a loved one can be found by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.

Online support is available via Beyond Blue.