Infamous Australian criminal Mark ‘Chopper’ Read will finally fulfill his last wish – starring in a movie in which he plays himself.
Read, a convicted gangland leader who once bragged about killing “four or seven people, depending on your look,” died of liver cancer in 2013.
Before his death, he filmed scenes for an Australian movie called Pinball, which was just completed almost 10 years later.
“ I was hard on him as a director and he got ready for the occasion and he responded like an actor, like he did it all his life, it was extraordinary, ” director Matt Holcomb told the Daily telegram
Infamous Australian criminal Mark ‘Chopper’ Read will finally fulfill his last wish – starring in a movie where he plays himself
Chopper will star in the Australian crime drama Pinball set to release in 2023
The murderer-turned-children’s novelist began filming the scenes shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer, as the directors planned to have him in the movie.
Pinball tells the story of an Australian Rules footballer who becomes entangled in Melbourne’s infamous underbelly.
Read appears in the film opposite Wolf Creek star John Jarratt, based in Collingwood and at the Collingwood Football Club.
Chopper is said to have murdered more than a dozen people but was never found guilty of murder, instead becoming a bestselling author whose life was turned into a major hit movie.
Read, who has served 23 years in prison for a variety of crimes, including assault and armed robbery, has written several books about his long violent career, including one entitled “How to Shoot Friends and Influence People.”
He got his iconic look after a fellow inmate cut off his ears in the 1970s.
Brothers Matt and Trevor Holcomb are the heads behind Pinball, which looked like it wasn’t going to be made when they lost their producer in 2016 – but decided to re-watch and rework the film during last year’s lockdown.
The directors said Read, whose life was seen in the 2000 movie ‘Chopper’ starring Eric Bana, was a natural in front of the camera.
He loved it. I think it was something he wanted to do for a long time. He grew up watching Westerns and wanted to be an outlaw or a sheriff, ”said Holcomb.
That was a big part of who he was. He loved history, the old West, so when I told him this was a crime Western, he was thrilled.
His eyes lit up. His on-screen presence is through the roof. ‘
In the released footage of the film, Chopper can be seen aiming a gun at the camera, suggesting that the iconic killer is reenacting moments from his criminal life.
The film will be screened at several film festivals before being officially released in 2023, a decade after Chopper’s death.
Chopper, who died at the age of 58, was convicted of crimes including armed robbery, firearms offenses, assault, arson, impersonating a police officer and kidnapping
He got his iconic look after a fellow inmate cut off his ears in the 1970s
Read became a ward of the state in his teens and was declared medically ill three times, at the ages of 15, 19 and 23.
Between the ages of 20 and 28, he spent a total of just 13 months outside of prison after being convicted of crimes such as armed robbery, firearms offenses, assault, arson, impersonating a police officer, and kidnapping.
He rose in the underworld by stealing from drug dealers and ‘attacking criminals’ by claiming debts they owed each other.
He was known for torturing his victims with flashlights, although he said in interviews that he never hurt an innocent person.
He once attempted to kidnap a judge at gunpoint in an unsuccessful attempt to free a friend from prison. He claimed to have survived being stabbed, shot, run over by a car and hit in the head with a hammer.
His manager released a statement after his death in 2013 saying that Chopper wanted to be remembered as someone who “ made a lot of people laugh. ”
“Fourteen days ago, Mark made his last public appearance to a sold-out audience at the Athenaeum Theater in Melbourne,” his manager, Andrew Parisi, said in a statement.
Despite his ill health, he delighted audiences with his skills as a storyteller and storyteller. This is how he would like to be remembered, as someone who spun a great yarn and made many people laugh. ‘
Read was active on Twitter and had more than 10,000 followers, to whom he posted a poignant message after his last performance saying ‘That was my last public appearance. That’s all she’s written, ladies and gentlemen. ‘
The film will be played at various film festivals before being officially released in 2023, a decade after Chopper’s death.