Exclusive: First look at Geoffrey Rush in The Daughter

Geoffrey Rush leads the cast in this highly anticipated Australian film about a man who returns to his hometown and unearths a long-buried family secret.

In the last days of a dying logging town, Christian (Paul Schneider) returns to his family home for his father Henry’s (Geoffrey Rush) wedding to the much younger Anna (Anna Torv).

While home, Christian reconnects with his childhood friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie), who has stayed in town working at Henry’s timber mill and is now out of a job.


Official trailer:


As Christian gets to know Oliver’s wife Charlotte (Miranda Otto), daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young) and father Walter (Sam Neill), he discovers a secret that could tear Oliver’s family apart.

As he tries to right the wrong of the past, his actions threaten to shatter the lives of those he left behind years before.


Production story

The Daughter
Geoffrey Rush in The Daughter. Image via In Daily

When producers Jan Chapman (The Babadook) and Nicole O’Donohue first saw Simon Stone’s stage adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play, The Wild Duck, in Sydney, they were convinced the play would translate to the big screen.

“Both Jan and I see a lot of theatre and we kept coming back to Simon’s version of The Wild Duck; it always felt very filmic,” says O’Donohue. The duo insisted Stone work with them to make an on-screen version.



“What you think you’re watching suddenly keeps opening out into revealing, sad, interesting, troubled undercurrents in all of these people’s lives."

- Geoffrey Rush



Although The Daughter is Simon Stone’s film-directing debut, the producers were convinced he was the perfect choice. A galaxy of headline actors needed little persuading to join the cast.

Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine, The King’s Speech) said: “Simon’s alarmingly film literate. He knows the syntax of film language… He also knows how expressionistic the lens and the framing of the lens can be to add to the dynamic of the performance that’s being captured.”


the daughter film
Odessa Young stars in The Daughter

The depth and intensity of the screenplay also attracted the attention of Sam Neill, best known for his performances in Jurassic Park and The Piano. Neill told us: “Walter is a man who was Henry’s best friend. They were business partners and he was terribly betrayed by Henry and took the blow and went to jail, so he’s had a disappointment in his life and been disappointed in people."

"Nevertheless, I think he’s the one person who has the most faith in human nature than anyone else. He’s kind and thoughtful and a decent man. We should all aspire to be Walter.”

Other cast members include award-winning actor and filmmaker, Paul Schneider, described by Rush as, “amazing, very playful, very experimental, very edgy”.

True to Ibsen’s original play, The Daughter explores the hidden dimensions and contradictions of people’s lives, epic personal struggles against a backdrop of the seemingly ordinary.

According to Rush, “What you think you’re watching suddenly keeps opening out into revealing, sad, interesting, troubled undercurrents in all of these people’s lives… Some pretty deep, dark secrets start to emerge.”

Watch an exclusive clip:

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