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The Jono Project, ep. 1.12 "Sir Butch"
23 August 2010, C4


In the season finale of The Jono Project, Michael plays actor 'Michael Hurst' who is portraying New Zealand's iconic Mad Butcher in the film Sir . Peter . Leitch.  Jono, on-set to do a behind-the-scenes documentary on the film, finds everything about it rather bizarre.  The actors, for instance:  'Toni Potter' spends all of her time on her mobile to her agent trying to get out of her contract, 'Tammy Davis' is obsessed with setting a record for playing the most characters--and 'Michael Hurst' will only spout Shakespeare (slightly fractured) in response to every question.  Are they all going 'Mad'?

Cue the documentary:  "Forget Once Were Warriors, forget The Piano, forget Lord of the Rings.  The biggest movie ever to be made in Aoteroa is in production right now in this unsuspecting sound stage at an undisclosed location.  Millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars have been endlessly poured into one of the most riskiest ventures known to man:  A local film, locally made, about a local man, doing good, locally.

"Only a sound stage this size could harbour a life so massive, a life so rich and full.  Full of meat.  This is the cinematic telling of the story of The Mad Butcher.  It's a story of meat, mates, and majesty, and I am lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes tour, personally, from the man himself.  Sir Peter Leitch".


Jono:  "The acting talent is a 'who's who' of the New Zealand acting community.  You've got Toni Potter from Shortland Street, Tammi Davis from Outrageous Fortune, and of course the great Michael Hurst playing yourself?"

Sir Peter Leitch:  "I wouldn't have gone for anyone bloody less than Michael Hurst.  He was in Xena, he's the world's best.  He's fantastic, he's a legend!  Like myself."

Jono (voice over):  "We were invited out to a farm in the mighty Waitakere Ranges in west Auckland where the majority of on-location shooting is being done".

Jono:  "So Michael Hurst, you're playing the great man himself, Sir Peter Leitch".

'Michael Hurst':  "mmmm . . . "


Jono:  "Did you spend much time researching the role?"

'Michael Hurst':  (long maniacal laugh)

'Michael Hurst':  "All the world's a stage.  And all the men and women merely players.  They have their entrances and their exits.  And each man in his time plays many parts.
"His acts being seven ages.  First, the infant.  Mueling and puking in his mother's grave.  And then the school boy . . . "

Jono:  "So, Toni, tell us, what is it like playing the woman behind the man?"

'Toni Potter':  "Oh, it's great!  Obviously.  Everyone says I'm really lucky.  And at this point in my career, it's a new challenge every day.  And it's just . . . it's great to be working . . . "


'Tammi Davis':  "Yeah, I'm excited, Jono, obviously.  Very excited.  I mean, Anthony Starr, you know, he got mass recognition when he played the twins in Outrageous Fortune.  I plan on taking that a step further.  I'm going to break the world record for multi-characterization in an audio/visual media project".

Jono:  "What does that mean?"

Tammi:  "Oh, it just means I'm gonna play lots of characters".

Jono:  "We've just spoken to the weather guy; have there been any disruptions due to the weather?"

'Michael Hurst':  "mmm.  mmmm".


'Michael Hurst':  "Deny thy father and refuse thy name.  Or if thou wilt not . . .

"be but sworn, my love, and I will no longer be a Capulet.

(shouting) "For tis not thy name that is thine enemy!

"For what is in a name?  Tis neither hand nor arm . . .

nor any other part belonging to a man.

(whispering) "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet".

"Shhhh . . . "



"Come hail, come wrack! 

"At least we'll die with harness on our back!"

(later) Jono:  "Famous actor Michael Hurst is in this tent here.  All I want to do is actually get him to talk about the film so hopefully we can have a chat. . . . Michael, how are you?".

'Michael Hurst':  "Excellent i' faith.

"I am of the chameleon's dish.  I eat the air, promised-crammed.  You cannot feed kapons so!"

'Toni Potter' (into phone):  "Call me back.  This movie is driving me mental.  And it's not just me, the people here are nuts!"

'Michael Hurst' (galloping through):  "Gallop apace, you fiery footed steed . . .


" . . . towards Phoebus's lodging!"

'Toni Potter':  "You'd better get me out of my f*cking contract.  Call me back.  Please!  They put me in a tank with a live f*cking shark!  Call me back.  It's Toni.  Potter.  I was Alice on Shortland Street. "

Jono:  "It is the quiet moments, in between takes, that really let us see what  immersing themselves in The Mad Butcher's life . . .

" . . . has done for these talented actors.

"Let's take a look inside their private actors' room, and say goodbye".

Poster for the film SIR . PETER . LEITCH.


The man.
Who became a butcher.

The butcher. 

Who became a mate.

Michael Hurst.  Is the mate.  Who became a knight!

A film with landscapes.

People raising their arms.

And dramatically intense staring.

Starrimg Tammy Davis.

Some horses.

Tammy Davis.

Tammy Davis.

Toni Potter.

And Tammy Davis.

More crowds of people . . .

and horses than you'll ever goddam see.

Only one man.  Can be.

Everybody's mate.

Sir.  Peter.  Leitch.

Coming to cinemas.  June 2026.



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