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Cup movie brings famed actor to city

Tuesday, 1st November, 2011

‘THE CUP’: Stephen Curry play jockey Damien Oliver in the new movie. ‘THE CUP’: Stephen Curry play jockey Damien Oliver in the new movie.

By Kurtis Eichler

Five-time Logie winner Martin Sacks surrendered his weapons and hit the racetrack for his new role in feature film ‘The Cup.’

The 51-year-old former Blue Heelers and Underbelly actor is among the star cast in the story of jockey Damien Oliver’s ride to victory in the Melbourne Cup after the death of his brother Jason.

Sacks plays Neil Pinner, Oliver’s long-time business partner, manager and friend, and will launch the film in the city on November 11.

The actor said he “can’t wait” to visit the city the first time.

“I’ve only seen stuff in magazines or movies,” said Sacks, who played PJ on Blue Heelers for 12 years.

He said he had even extended his visit to four days to take in the attractions of the city that is part of Australia’s film history.

“Mad Max - that was really one of the first films that brought the world to Broken Hill,” he said.

For his role in The Cup, Sacks said he spoke with Neil Pinner and spent time getting to know who he is.

“He had a really close relationship with Damien. It’s always a lot of pressure playing someone who’s real and still alive.”

His attraction to the film came from the story about triumph over adversity.

“When I read it I knew I had to do it. I thought it was also something my kids could go and see.”

(Some of the shows that he has acted in, like Underbelly, were certainly not for children).

However the self-confessed racing rookie had to take a “crash course” in horses before filming.

“I have a flutter on the Cup. Other than that I’m pretty much a novice.”

The film, which has Stephen Curry as Damien Oliver, was also the last film to feature Bill Hunter, who died in May at 71.

“I didn’t have scenes with him but I spent time with him on set. He’s great. Bill’s the master,” said Sacks.

He predicted audiences in Broken Hill would enjoy the movie for its “identifiable characters.”

“I think it’s a really big Australian story that people in the country will appreciate.”

The film will premiere on the Friday night at 7pm, and the audience is invited to dress in racing attire.

Sacks will then judge the ‘field’ and award the titles of Best Dressed woman and man at the event.

The opening will raise money for the city’s Regional Events Centre Reserve Trust with $5 donated from every ticket sold.

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