In the tough, head-knock-heavy world of rugby league, the British-born Burgess Brothers are big names indeed. When not mired in off-field scandals or facing the judiciary for his aggressive on-field behaviour, older sibling Sam Burgess is the captain and acknowledged heart-and-soul of The South Sydney Rabbitohs, one of the NRL’s oldest and most beloved clubs. Aussie actor and international superstar Russell Crowe is, meanwhile, the club’s much publicised part-owner and general figurehead…but he’s not the only connection that the Rabbitohs have to the film world.
Towering, hard-charging forward George Burgess – younger brother to Sam, and twin brother to fellow Rabbitoh, Tom – is also an aspiring actor. He not only featured in a very funny sketch on Fox League’s The Matty Johns Show (which had him clowning around at NIDA with former players and current clowns, Bryan Fletcher and Nathan Hindmarsh), but he also makes an appearance in the new Aussie thriller, Locusts. Making the most of his hulking, intimidating frame, Burgess convincingly plays a heavy in a seedy outback nightclub.
“George is a very talented guy,” Locusts writer and producer, Angus Watts, tells FilmInk. “He is well seasoned and at ease in front of the camera. We have a family connection, and a few years back, I cast him in a proof of concept for the film. It was clear to me at that point that George was not only a natural talent but committed to pursuing acting beyond football. He brings the same level of intensity to the set that you see on the football field. I understand that Rusty was encouraging him to foster that interest, and rightly so. So when we began casting the feature, I didn’t hesitate to offer him a supporting role to cut his teeth. It’s very satisfying for me to see members of our cast and crew move on to bigger projects, so it’s been cool to see him land more meaty dramatic roles, and I heard a whisper that there might be bigger things in the wind. Watch this space.”
Locusts is released in cinemas on October 17. Click here to read our review.