Jenni Baird's interview by The Courier Mail about the movie the backtrack in 2015
MICHAEL Petroni and Jenni Baird are living proof you can mix business with pleasure, although there were some awkward moments when the pair worked together on new Australian film, Backtrack.
Petroni was behind the camera directing Baird as Carol, the on screen wife of Oscar winner Adrien Brody’s character, Peter Bower.
“I wasn’t allowed to kiss him,” she joked. “There was lots of snuggling, we were allowed to do that. It was slightly surreal having my husband behind the monitor and I was in bed with another man, that was weird.”
Petroni chimed in: “It is not like they were going to get up to anything as I was in the room. Our professional life and our personal life is all mixed together so it felt just like another day with Jen really except she was doing her job and I was doing my job.”
Backtrack is a psychological thriller that was shot in Sydney last year and will have its Australian premiere with simultaneous screenings in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth on Sunday night.
The Sydney screening will be at the Moonlight Cinema at Centennial Park with the film to open in cinemas nationally next year.
Backtrack tells the Bower’s story of being a psychologist who discovers his patients are ghosts.
It is the first time Petroni and Baird, who have two young children (Rose, seven, and Charlie, three), have worked together on a project.
“I keep saying to people it is the only reason I married him being an actor was to get a good job but it hadn’t really paid off until now,” joked Baird, known for her TV acting gigs on shows including All Saints and A Place To Call Home.
More seriously she continued: “I really wanted to do the right thing by him because he is obviously the most important person to me in the world so I wanted to make him proud. I guess I was stressed on that level but once we started, instinct takes over and it was pleasurable more than it was stressful.”
The film showed at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival as well as the Toronto and Busan Film Festivals and also stars Sam Neill, Robin McLeavy, Jenni Baird and Bruce Spence.
“I feel like I’m a fairly calm director,” he said. “I like a quiet and calm set. I don’t like hysterics or hissy fits on the whole and I like to move at a good pace.”