Wenham Wonderland
Acting Career: Television

Murray Whelan: Stiff (2004)

* Synopsis & Cast * David's Role * Trivia * Galleries * Press * Filming Locations * Links *

Synopsis and Cast:

MP Angelo Agnelli is nervous. Someone has died, and he's worried his office will be dragged through the muck by the press. To keep his image intact he asks his advisor, Murray Whelan, to get to the truth before the press has a field day.

Cast List:

David Wenham - Murray Whelan
Mick Molloy - Angelo Agnelli
Deborah Kennedy - Trish
Julian O'Donnell - Red Whelan
Robyn Butler - Wendy Whelan
Darren Casey - Ant
Sam Neill - Lionel Merricks
Tamara Searle - Ayisha
Denis Moore - Apps
Suzie Dee - Apps' Receptionist
George Prataris - Memo
Alan Brough - McGuire
Alan Hopgood - Herb Gardiner
Sue Jones - Woman Next Door
Ramez Tabit - Sivan
Aidan Fennessy - Parking Officer
Sarah Walker - Pizza Waitress
Gareth Yuen - Uniformed Cop
Ruth Callum - Uniformed Cop 2
Osvaldo Maione - Man in Laneway
Matthew Quartermaine - Greg Coates
Aaron Catalan - York
Luke Elliot - Dalziel
Paul Teiwes - Gavin Mullane
John Penman - Anti-Uranium Man
Simon Palomares - Sam Rossi
Luke Robson - Bottleshop Guy
Andy McPhee - Trevor
Alberto Vila - Cafe Proprietor
Tanja Bulatovic - Trish's Assistant
Tammy Fitzgerald - Trish's Assistant
Tahu Marumaru - BMW Thug
Trevor Major - Menacing Man at Bar
Simon King - Cop at Meatworks
Barry Jones - Himself (uncredited)

David's Role:

David played Murray Whelan, who reluctantly investigates the death, while simultaneously irking those close to the matter as well as his soon-to-be ex-wife, his son and his secretary, Trish, who would rather he did his job than chase criminals.


Stills, Screen Captures and Behind the Scenes


Prequel to The Brush-Off. David was an Associate Producer for both films with Sam Neill and John Clarke serving as co-producers. The scripts were written by John Clarke who adapted them from novels written by Shane Moloney.

David was an avid fan of the novels long before he was approached to do the films.

There had been plans to film the rest of the books, but the network decided not to commission them.

David liked the way Murray observes the world around him. It was David's idea to use the plastic bag, since Murray isn't "a briefcase kind of guy." John Clarke worried it would make noise, but David assured him it would work.

David described Murray as the closest character to himself, because they both came from similar backgrounds. He said he related to Murray from the first time he read the novel.

Directed by John Clarke, who appears in the second film (as Ken Sproule) along with Shane Moloney (cameo role as a dignitary).

John always had David in mind for the part. He once said that David is "a brilliant actor: he could read the alphabet well." John also said David has a tremendous gift of expression, translating emotions to his face. And he is good at depicting comedy "as it it isn't there."

John appears in the Paul Cox documentary On Borrowed Time.

Filming was on a short, 20-day timetable. This meant little or no downtime between shots and no time for rehearsals, which allowed for more spontenaity. David found the experience exhilarating. Most every shot was done on the first take.

At one point toward the end of the film, Apps says to Murray in alarm, "What are you doing here, Wenham?" Murray replies, "Its Whelan."

Sam Neill (Lionel Merricks) directed the sequel. He has appeared in Molokai and Legend of the Guardians.

The following cast members appear in The Brush-Off: Deborah Kennedy, Mick Molloy, Julian O'Donnell, Robyn Butler and Tammy Fitzgerald.

Deborah Kennedy was in the film Idiot Box.

Tanja Bulatovic was in The Bank as a Computer Lab Technician.

Aidan Fennessy was in After the Deluge.

Denis Moore and Aaron Catalan were in Killing Time.

Members of the crew had cameos in The Brush-Off. Wayne Hyett, Editor of both films, played Richard, while Production Runner for both films, Ben Grogan played Raph Barista.


Mr. John Clarke
Huntaway Films
Two Paddocks Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand
US DVD release

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