Occupation is the brand new Australian film that sees a small town taken over by an alien threat. This Sci-Fi film has plenty of action and a talented ensemble cast including Star Wars alumni Temuera Morrison. We were lucky enough to catch up with actor Rhiannon Fish one of the female leads in the film to learn more about Occupation.  
 
SCENEzine
Congrats on the new movie Occupation. You must be proud of how it all turned out?
 
Rhiannon Fish
I was very impressed actually. I didn’t know if we could pull it off but somehow we did. It was very exciting to watch it with an audience and hear their responses.
 
SCENEzine
How was it catching up with your fellow cast at the Sydney premiere?
 
Rhiannon Fish
It’s always a pleasure. I really do think that their are some of the greatest people in the whole world here in Australia. It’s always nice to come home to such familiar faces. To get to hang with them again is lovely.
 
SCENEzine
Initially how did it all come about for you to be a part of this film?
 
Rhiannon Fish
Well it’s a bit of a two part story. Dan Ewing had worked with Luke Sparke who is the creator. He worked with him on Red Billabong. Then another script came up, there was a female lead in it and Dan was very kind to pass my name and my work onto Luke. 
Luke did get in contact with me and I was offered the lead in that film. However that one was put on hold in order to do Occupation. I knew as soon as I read any of Luke’s work that it would be a pleasure to be involved in anything he does. So I leapt on board when he offered me the spot in Occupation as well.
 
SCENEzine
Where you a Sci-Fi fan when you were younger?
 
Rhiannon Fish
Not at all. If I was going through the genres of different TV shows or movies Sci-Fi would be my last pick. But I think that’s because I so naively thought it was all super out there, weird stuff. When in reality it’s a land of make believe where anything is possible. I think it’s a really cool genre to watch and certainly a wonderful genre to be a part of as an actor. There are really no limits which makes it really fun.
 
SCENEzine
Did it make it more comforting to be working with Dan again?
 
Rhiannon Fish
Yes. Dan and I were just babies when we were working on Home & Away together. So it’s been really cool to see who he’s grown up to be. Not just as an actor but as a person as well. The more time I get to spend with him the more I just adore him. I think he’s wonderful.
 
SCENEzine
What was it like working with Temuera Morrison
 
Rhiannon Fish
He’s a legend. I think he’s the coolest guy in the whole world. He’s the most down to earth, lovely guy. It’s been a pleasure to have the opportunity to get to know him.
 
 
SCENEzine
You’re performance in Occupation was captivating. Does your preparation change doing a film knowing you’ll be on the big screen rather than a TV show?
 
Rhiannon Fish
Thank you. There is something that is definitely more intimidating about film. Film almost seems timeless to me. There’s something about a film that really feels set in stone and exists forever. Whereas if you are doing a soap opera like Home & Away it goes up for thirty minutes and you never see or hear of it again. So film feels very permanent and in a sense it makes you want to prep more. To sit back at the end of the day and say I did everything I could for that performance.
 
SCENEzine
I’m curious how heavy were the alien guns in the film?
 
Rhiannon Fish
They were so heavy, honestly. I thought it would be really bad ass if I got to use it but then as soon as you hold it for the rehearsal you are like thank god I am not one of the characters that’s fighting. Because they are so, so heavy.
 
SCENEzine
One of the most compelling scenes in  the film sees your character give birth. Did that scene take many takes to get right?
 
Rhiannon Fish 
I have to say that as a female actor it was one of my greatest fears. I had a feeling that at some point especially if you are on a soap opera you are probably going to have to have a baby. I felt really good that I cruised through three and a half years on Home & Away without having to do it. As soon as I started reading the script I thought she’s pregnant, she’s going to have to have this baby. I was really, really nervous. I did as much research as I could, trying to google best birthing scenes. I was more nervous about that scene than any other scene I have ever done. Having to do it with the rain machine plus all of the action that was involved in the scene that was going on, it was hard. We only had a limited amount of time to shoot it. We got as many takes as we possibly could. I was glad when that scene was over.
 
 
SCENEzine
While juggling a birthing scene with rain plus focusing on acting how do you switch on the Australia accent on top of everything going on?
 
Rhiannon Fish
That’s such a nice question. Thank you for asking. Most of the time I think people just think I am an idiot who’s actually an Australian putting on an American accent in my day to day life. So it’s really nice when someone acknowledges that it’s the opposite. To be honest with you it has become second nature almost. Sometimes I’ll find myself reading an American script and as soon as I start rehearsing the lines they come out with an Australian accent. For me acting is so tied to using an Australian accent that it feels very natural. The only time I slip up is when I have to improvise. That’s when it gets difficult but as long as it’s scripted it seems to come quite easily.
 
SCENEzine
In the film you play a nurse. In real life do you have any skills if there’s ever any trouble?
 
Rhiannon Fish
Gosh no, that’s so embarrassing to say. I’ve seen numerous times in my life where people have that heroic instinct where if something happens they just run to the scene to help. I would absolutely love to be one of those people but I get paralysed with fear. I think that if I was personally in this situation there’s no way that I could help myself. Let alone save other people. So it’s very cool to play characters that help other people because I really do think I would be useless in a real world situation.
 
SCENEzine
So if there is an alien invasion we shouldn’t look to the actors from Occupation to save us?
 
Rhiannon Fish         
No, god no. I’m sure some of them think they could help like Dan Ewing probably thinks he would be a real hero. But no he wouldn’t, we would all be the first dead. All the actors gone.
 
SCENEzine
Being that you were also in the Sci-Fi series The 100 did it seem familiar walking onto the set of Occupation since it was another Sci-Fi project?
 
Rhiannon Fish
What has been very familiar has been the fans. I think that Sci-Fi has a very loyal fanbase and it was very cool to be working at conventions for The 100 and be able to tell the fans if you like The 100 you are going to like Occupation as well. I sort of goes vice versa, anyone that has seen the film I can say check out The 100 as they are very similar.
 
SCENEzine
How do think American audiences will react to the film?
 
Rhiannon Fish
I’ve been thinking about that a lot actually. I think the film handles itself very well where it almost doesn’t take itself too seriously. It could be a very dark film and it’s not. A lot of the humour is Australian humour so I’ll be very interested to see how that translates overseas. I’m looking forward to attending the USA premiere and seeing what they respond to and also what they don’t respond to. It will be very interesting.
 
SCENEzine
You’ve attended both Oz Comic Con and Supanova. What’s it like knowing the Sci-Fi community has welcomed you with open arms?
 
Rhiannon Fish
It’s so lovely. The different communities I was welcomed into by being a part of The 100 alone not just Sci-Fi community but that show also has such a strong LGBT following. I feel like I was welcomed into all those groups. Which is so special. They have proven to be such wonderful people and such loyal fans. I look forward to continuing to hopefully expand all the communities that I am able to be a part of.
 
SCENEzine
Lastly do you have a message for all of the Rhiannon Fish fans who have been following your work from Summer Bay all the way to Occupation?
 
Rhiannon Fish
When I was at the Sydney premiere for Occupation there was something very special about seeing the faces of people who would rock up to Palm beach when I first started. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for being so supportive. Not only of my career but of also the choices that I have made as a person. It feels very comforting to know they will always be by my side because it certainly means a lot to me.
 
(interview by Christian Ross)
 

 

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