Sam Delich, 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship Finalist
Sydney-based Sam Delich graduated from the prestigious Western Australian Academy Of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2011 and most recently wrapped production on his first feature film, an indie horror shot in rural NSW called The Marshes. His other credits include Gallipoli: The Power Of Ten (2014) on Channel Seven and numerous short films and professional theater productions in Sydney and his home state of Western Australia.
AiF: Where do you call home right now?
SD: I am originally from Western Australia but home for me is Sydney.
AiF: When did the acting bug first bite you and you knew it was your calling?
SD: I was 16 years old and although I had studied drama in high school I’d never been in an actual production, but my drama teacher Belinda Massey asked me if I’d every thought about pursuing a career in acting and the idea just clicked. So I entered a monologue competition and won that but being from Perth, I had no idea how to be an actor and pursue it as a career so Belinda helped me with applications at NIDA and WAAPA and I was accepted at WAAPA when I was 17.
AiF: What inspires you in life?
SD: [Laughs] I have this love and hate relationship with the film industry in the sense that it’s so unknown! I work at a bottle shop right now and I’ve had every bad job under the sun – the longest I’ve lived off acting is 2 months I think. But it can all change so quickly and significantly for absolutely anyone at any time and I find that very inspiring.
AiF: Who are your favorite actors and/or filmmakers and why do they resonate with you?
SD: I’m such a big fan of Aussie actors Joel Edgerton and Jason Clarke They both took a while to make it and I think they’re so much better for it. I really admire the bold choices they make in choosing roles and it’s such an inspiration to see them crush it in L.A. now. I also really admire Tom Hardy) because he’s such a risk-taker and sometimes it works for him and sometimes it doesn’t but no risk, no reward.
AiF: What work are you most proud of creating so far in your career?
SD: I’ve done a lot of professional theater gigs that I’m really proud of but shooting the indie horror feature film The Marshes last year in rural NSW was such a rewarding experience for me. It was long and pretty hard at times but so great to be a part of that production.
AiF: How are you hoping your career will unfold in the years to come?
SD: Work is work in my opinion – I don’t come from a place where I’m used to picking and choosing things – so as my career continues to unfold I just want to be working, whether it be a TV series here in Australia or a U.S. feature film alongside someone massive like Brad Pitt! I’m only twenty-four years old but in the next ten years I’d love to have a steady career in TV and film. And I also love comedy and writing and directing so definitely hope to do that at some stage too.
AiF: When did you first hear about the Heath Ledger Scholarship and make the decision to enter?
SD: I probably first heard about the Heath Ledger Scholarship three or four years ago when I graduated from WAAPA. Last year was the first time I decided to enter though and although I wasn’t successful in becoming a finalist I went to the ceremony and was encouraged by a number of people there to enter again this year. So I thought I’ve got nothing to lose and I’m so glad I did!
AiF: What does California represent for you in terms of your dreams, aspirations and goals in life?
SD: The film industry is such an international one these days and you can really be working and making great content from anywhere right now, but I do see California as the place most likely to launch my international career. And I do love the strong sense of industry L.A. has.
AiF: What are your favorite parts of California and what makes them so appealing?
SD: I love Silverlake and Venice and West Hollywood is easily my favorite area in Los Angeles but San Francisco is definitely my favorite part of California. It is such a beautiful city and amazing to visit and experience so much culture – I like how it’s big but also really relaxed too. And there’s a little town called Carmel-by-the-Sea on California's Monterey Peninsula that I could definitely see myself spending more time in if lived in the U.S. It’s tiny and so beautiful.
AiF: What would it mean to you if you won the Heath Ledger Scholarship for 2017?
SD: It would be so amazing and the boost I need in my career right now. This is my fourth year in the industry and I’ve had so many close calls but have yet to do something really major. Being successful in L.A. relies so much on the heat around you and I know this would open so many more doors for me.
Heath Ledger Scholarship 2017 presenting partners are Qantas, Visit California, Screenwise and Ausfilm.
AiF would also like to thank Penfolds and Kate Raynor & Associates, official Immigration law partner.