In “Beneath the Harvest Sky” Callan McAuliffe plays Dominic, one half of the pair of friends at the center of the story. McAuliffe, 19, grew up in Australia, and has been seen in high-profile films including “I Am Number Four” and Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby.” Though he’s already had lots of different experiences in his young but busy career, going on a moose safari in Aroostook County was not one of them until he filmed “Beneath” last summer. The Bangor Daily News talked to McAuliffe earlier this week about getting to know The County and what’s in store for him next.
Aroostook County has a really specific culture. How did you research this character? How did you get the accent down?
This was a very unique experience for me, because I grew up in cities. But I’ve always been in love with this country, so in that sense, there was something familiar about it. Emory came up a week before me and then I was up for a week prior to shooting, and Aron and Gita spent a lot of time introducing us to the locals, getting to know them … Emory had a much stronger accent than I did, but it’s an odd influence in the accent, for someone who hadn’t heard it before. That French influence really comes through.
How did Aron and Gita introduce Aroostook County to you? What did you do?
Well, I think the local atmosphere and aesthetic did a lot to help us with our characters. These are young guys in a small town, and I think there’s something universal about that. Being among the people was a huge part of it. That really helped to create the world for us.
What are some of your favorite memories from filming up north?
One of the best things that we experienced was also the first thing we did during shooting, and that was the moose safari scene. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but it was quite an experience. Basically, it was just the three of us (Emory, Sarah and myself) riding around in the back of a truck, searching for a moose in the middle of the night. We did that for a couple of nights, but eventually, of course, we stumbled across a moose standing in the middle of the road. We chased it down. It was exhilarating and frightening. They’re so big. It’s crazy how big they are. That will definitely stick with me forever.
What projects are you working on? What’s your next film that’s coming out?
I recently came off shooting a film called “Hacker,” which we shot in Bangkok, Hong Kong, New York and Toronto, and that’ll come out soon. I also shot a film called “Skateboarding With Saddam.” Oh, and there’s “Our Robot Overlords” where we got to work with Sir Ben Kingsley, and “Kite” with Samuel L. Jackson. Keep an eye out for all of that.