Wenham Wonderland
Acting Career: Films

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)

* Synopsis & Cast * David's Role * Trivia * Galleries * Press * Video * Audio * Links *


Synopsis and Cast:

True story of Father Damien, and how he fought for the lepers of Molokai when no one else wanted to acknowledge them.

Cast List:
David Wenham - Father Damien
Kate Ceberano - Princess Liliuokalani
Jan Decleir - Bishop Köckerman
Chris Haywood - Clayton Strawn
Derek Jacobi - Father Leonor Fouesnel
Keanu Kapuni-Szasz - Malulani
Alice Krige - Mother Marianne Cope
Kris Kristofferson - Rudolph Meyer
Leo McKern - Bishop Maigret
Sam Neill - Walter Murray Gibson
Peter O'Toole - William Williamson
Dirk Roofthooft - Father Conrardy
Tom Wilkinson - Brother Joseph Dutton
Aden Young - Dr. Kalewis
Kate Agnew - Sister Leopoldina
Nan Asuncion - Mrs. Meyer
Larry Bialock - White Gentleman
Charlene Campbell - Emma's Mother
Joseph Cariago Jr. - Teenage Little Bishop
Curtis Crabbe - Amon
Kimo Farm - Jimmy
Randy Fyjimori - Kaho'ohuli
Thom Hoffman - Dr. William Saxe
Keokeokalae Hughes - Old Woman
Zachary Kapule - Ranch Hand
Swaine Kaui - Sailor
Kayla Kawai - Elizabeth Meyer
Sylvestor Kepilino - Caveman
Jan Kleinejan - White Officer
William Lebus - Reverend Appleyard
Dorothy Mane - Celia
Richard Marks - Verger
Murphy Mersburg - Amon Cohort
George O'Hanlon Jr. - Evans (as George O'Hanlon)
Bill Ogilvie - Ship's Officer
Norbert Palea - Ute
Michael Pas - Dr. Stottard
Michael W. Perry - Dr. Trousseau
Kalaiwaa Pilialoha - Housekeeper Bishop
Ryan Rumbaugh - Little Bishop
George Russell - Reporter
Varoa Tiki - Old Woman
Shay Lawrence - Priest (uncredited)
Nami Leolani - (uncredited)


David's Role:

David played Father Damien, a Belgian priest who brings hope and faith to a group of exiled people suffering from Hansen's Disease.


Galleries:

Screen Captures and Behind the Scenes
Interview


Trivia:

David was nominated for an AFI (Australian Film Institute) award.

Adapted from the book written by Hilde Eynikel.

Filmed on location on the island where the events took place, Director Paul Cox and David Wenham lived among the surviving patients, eventually winning them over and casting them in the film.

The producers had wanted a more Hollywood styled film and did not like the choice of David as the lead, preferring someone like Robin Williams. Paul Cox refused to recast, insisting David was perfect for the part. Cox conflicted with the producers many times, and was fired more than once during filming. When the locals and the cast protested, he was reinstated.

The original release of the film was massively cut-up by the producers. It was not well received. Director Paul Cox sued the producers and was able to get the film back in his hands. The task of restoring the footage proved difficult, however, as the producers had cut the negatives rather than a print of the film. Eventually a recut version was released.

David had commented that his experience working on the film had a huge impact on him on many levels. He has since visited the island a few times, and hosted a premiere screening of the film there.

They had to film Father Damien's death scene in one take due to the extreme heat having an effect on David's makeup.

Writer John Briley wrote the Oscar winning screenplay for Ghandi.

Aden Young has been in several of David's films and TV projects including Cosi, The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, and After the Deluge.

Sam Neill has also been in several projects with David including producing the telefilms Stiff in which he acted, and The Brush-Off in which he directed, as well as appearing in the film Legend of the Guardians.

Paul Cox, Aden Young, Derek Jacobi and Chris Haywood appear in the Paul Cox documentary On Borrowed Time.


Video:

Interview with David


Audio:

Being Directed by Paul


Links:

Peace Poem Celebrities
Paul Cox - Human Rights Awards Speech


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