Having worked for many years with incredible talent, every now and then, you meet a special one. Dan Henshall is the real deal. He’s profoundly insightful which is evident in each role he takes on. Off screen, he has an incredible aura with a particular magnetism, which is instantly appealing. He’s a manly man, yet perfectly in tune with the female psyche.
Dan’s breakout role was serial killer, John Bunting, in Snowtown. Reviews of his performance were overwhelmingly favourable. He played the character with such nuanced menace and ease. This ability to imbue characters so deeply is what separates the great from the good. Dan is most definitely the former.
I had the pleasure of working with Dan on Kasimir Burgess’ feature film FELL in the last half of 2013. A role that was intense and required absolute focus and concentration. The importance of this not lost on Dan.
You did get the sense he could have been any one of us on that film. This was underpinned by his interactions with everyone on and off set as he showed great respect for each cog that made the machine turnover.
What I found most interesting and noteworthy is he doesn’t feel the need to be anyone other than himself, no matter who he is with. Assuredly the nonconformist. Truly enviable.
After spending long days on set, the idea of shooting Dan was a constant nagging in my head. I badly wanted to capture the face that tells a thousand stories as well as his openness and humour. I was reluctant to ask and as luck would have it, and several beers in at the wrap party, the deal was done. Here’s a performer on the brink of stardom, but actually, more than that, a genuine mate wanting to hang with other mates, enjoying the process and creating something great.
We shot this piece in Princes Hill, Melbourne, with my good friend and Dan’s girlfriend, the wonderful Stacey O’Connor, who styled the shoot.