Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ben Mortley

Today I'm going to learn about Ben Mortley. He played Alberto, the Italian guy, on McLeod's Daughters.

I think his character is a bit of a stereotype, but I don't know for sure, because I don't know much about Italian culture. Well, I know the show has are at least some level of stereotyping. When Alberto appears in a scene, or sometimes when someone just thinks of him, the soundtrack of the show becomes old-fashioned romantic Italian music. It's a bit silly.

Alberto is sexist in an old-fashioned way, and it's inferred that this comes from his culture. Are Italian men often sexist and old-fashioned? I don't know.

I don't remember if I liked Alberto when he first came on the show in season one or two. I think maybe I did. He was sweet and romantic. But in season three, the one I'm currently watching, his dark side comes out.

He's controlling. His girlfriend Jodi is in Europe. She's having fun, but is low on funds. She asks for money from her mother. Her mother doesn't want to send her money. She wants Jodi to learn responsibility. Alberto "solves"things by buying her a plane ticket back home. It's very generous, but forces Jodi to do something she doesn't want to do. She wanted to stay in Europe. Now part of this is her fault. She could have gotten a job in Europe. But I think it would have been better for her mother to say If you want to stay in Europe, you need to get a job. We can't keep sending you money. But if you want to come home, we can help you with that. 

Jodi and Alberto end up getting engaged. As the wedding gets closer, Alberto's sexist attitudes become more and more apparent. Earlier he agreed to Jodi's wish to travel together. But then he decides he doesn't like other men looking at his woman. His plan is to keep her pregnant and busy with mothering. At home. He begins to treat Jodi like his property.

I don't know if Alberto is an accurate portrayal of the majority of Italian men. I do think he's an accurate portrayal of some men from all cultures. It's the man who's lovely and romantic when you're dating, but as you get closer to him, you begin to feel more owned than loved.

Anyway...enough of Alberto. I'm going to try and learn something about Ben Mortley.

The other day I did a quick chat with Lord Wiki about Mortley. I wanted to see if Lord Wiki knew anything about him. Lord Wiki did, but would only talk about Mortley in Spanish. Fortunately, Google offered to translate for me.  I didn't really read much. I wanted to save it for the day I did a post.

And here I am.

Lord Wiki says that Mortley is another person we can add to the list of NIDA graduates. He graduated in 1997. I think a person I wrote about recently graduated in 1997. Was that Spencer McLaren?

Nope. He finished in 1999. Well, maybe that's what I was thinking of, anyway. Maybe I confused 1997 with 1999.

Lord Wiki doesn't really say much besides Filmography stuff, so I'll just go to IMDb.

Neither Lord Wiki nor IMDb gives me a place or date of birth. That's kind of frustrating. I'm kind of curious about those things. Is Mortley really Italian? Spanish? Is that why Lord Wiki only wants to talk about him in Spanish? If he wasn't born in Australia, how long has he been there?

Maybe I should look up his last name.

The My Heritage website says most people with the name Mortley come from Great Britain. Then the next biggest group is from Australia.

So Mortley might be an Anglo guy who simply has Latino looks. It's kind of like I have Jewish-Russian and other European roots, but I look kind of Middle Eastern. (Does that sound sexual to Australians who are reading this?)

Mortley, though, could have an Australian father, and a mother who comes from a more Mediterranean background.

I should get back to the filmography.

Mortley's first screen appearance was in a 1991 Rolf De Heer movie called Dingo. I thought it was about canines, but no. It's about a jazz singer.

There's a character in the movie named Peter. Mortley played the young version of Peter.

Okay. Then we have a ten year gap in the filmography. I'm guessing Mortley got a taste of the acting bug, but didn't jump back in right away. He probably worked on his education—the NIDA stuff.

Or he could have tried to get back into it, but was faced with rejection.

In 2001, he started doing screen work again. He did two episodes of Home and Away, playing a character named Aidan Bradley. Aidan Bradley is the sister of a main character named Shauna Bradley. She was a professional lifesaver. Lord Wiki says that Aidan was involved with a broken engagement. The same thing happens to Mortley's character on McLeod's Daughters.

Also in 2001, Mortley was in the movie Lantana. I've heard of that one. I remember writing about it. Mortley played a character named Jose. I wonder if it was a big part, medium part, small part, or tiny part.

I'm watching the trailer. There's a young man/kid that might be him. But I don't think so.

Since the show Wilfred was not my cup of tea, today I went to to pick another show. I got Come in Spinner. I saw pictures of it on Hulu, and the woman in it looks like the woman in Lantana. And she seems familar to me in general. I wonder who she is. And has she been in something I've watched before?

Kerry Armstrong—the trailer just gave me her name. I'll have to Google after I finish watching it.

I'm done. I don't think I saw Mortley.

I consulted Lord Wiki about the film, and he doesn't mention Mortley (or Jose) when talking about the plot. So I think it was a small part.

Ah! Kerry Armstrong was in SeaChange. I remember her now—thanks to Lord Wiki's help. But yeah. She played the wife of John Howard's wife. John Howard the actor, not the former Prime Minister.

Back to Ben Mortley....

From 2002-2003, he did thirteen episodes of McLeod's Daughters.  Six of them were in season three. I guess the rest were in season two. But if I remember correctly, he went away for awhile. And I'm not just relying on memory here. On an episode I watched recently they talked about Alberto being away.

I'm looking at the episodes. It's not what I expected. Alberto's first appearance was on a season one episode in February 2002. Then he left and came back in the middle of season two.

Wow. There's so much I forgot. IMDb says that Jodi thought Alberto was cheating on her with Becky, so she turned him into immigration. That's why he had to leave.

But then he returns.

And then he leaves again.

It's kind of like Mortley's career. He did something in 1991. Then he left the screenworld. He came back in 2001, left again, and then he returned again in 2011.

He was in CloudStreet. He played Gerry Clay. I read the book, but don't remember if that character was significant or not.

This summary of the book says Clay is a guy that Dolly has an affair with. Is Dolly the mother or the daughter? I get confused about that.

Well, fortunately that same summary has the answer for me. She's the mother.

In 2013, Mortley was in the movie Drift. It also starred one of his fellow McLeod's Daughters actors. Miles Pollard. Mortley played a character named Buzzcot.

I'm watching the trailer, trying to see Ben Mortley. It's one of the worst trailers I've ever seen. It's like three minutes of surfing. I know nothing about the storyline.

I guess some people enjoy that type of thing.

There's a guy talking—a voiceover. He sounds American to me. Maybe the movie was dubbed for America. Or maybe I'm watching the wrong trailer.

I'm confused.

Here's another trailer. But again, the guy sounds American.

Crap! I was looking at the wrong movie.

I've been looking at the trailers for the movie Drifter. I should be looking at Drift.


Here's the Drift trailer.

I didn't see Mortley. But my eyes might not be fast enough.

In 2013, Mortley was in a second movie with Myles Pollard. This one was called Foreshadow.

I wonder if Pollard and Mortley are friends. Or it could be just a coincidence that they've been in multiple projects together. Or other factors.

Here's the trailer for Foreshadow. It's a story about demonic things. And this time I actually saw Mortley. He's demonic.

Mortley has done two short films recently. With one of them (Jalam Ayam) he was also the writer and director.  It's a comedy about an Australian tourist in Indonesia.

I'm not seeing the movie on the internet.

The last thing on Mortley's filmography is a movie called Pinch.  Mortley is listed as the main star. That might be good for his career.

I don't see a trailer for it.

Here's Ben Mortley's Facebook page. I can see it without signing onto Facebook, which is good. My Facebook account is deactivated.

I'm getting the idea that Mortley's in Perth. He has a photo from the Black Swan State Theatre.

He was in a play called Dust. It's about a dust storm.

And now, Mortley is in a Chekov play called The Seagull.

So it looks like theater is his thing now.

Mortley's Facebook has a link to ABC where you can view one of his short films. I can't see it though, because you have to be in Australia.

In a February Facebook post, Mortley says he was nominated for an acting award for his role in the play Robot Vs. Art. This one wasn't at the Black Swan. It was at the Blue Room Theatre.

Robot vs. Art sounds fun. It's about robots taking over the world. They've sent humans down to work in the mines. But then one robot writes a play and he brings up one of the miners (a former theater director) to help him put on the play.

Here's a video about it.

It's a staged behind the scenes type thing.

Crap. I just realized this is the right play, but the wrong production of it.

I'm having bad luck with this post.

Here's Ben Mortley's acting reel. The first clip is from Drift. I think the guy talking is Mortley, because why else would he be on Mortley's acting reel. But I wouldn't recognize him; not by voice or looks. He has a surfer accent. I guess it's American?

Now we have CloudStreet. Mortley looks like Alberto here, but he doesn't sound like him. His accent is Australian.

Next is the demon movie. I think that's an Aussie accent.

And now Lantana. I think his accent is Spanish or Italian. I wish I was less ignorant about these things.

There's nothing from McLeod's Daughters. Is Mortley not proud of that work?  Or maybe he just didn't want his acting real too long, and his work on McLeod's Daughters is what he liked the least. You can like something the least and still like it.

For example, out of all the chocolate types I like white chocolate the least. But I still like.

Anyway, I can't really find anything else. So I shall quit here.