Gerard & Genevieve: Challenging the Film Industry
What do Shakespeare and life changing friendships have in common?
As a student working on a short film for Down Syndrome NSW, Genevieve first met Gerard O' Dwyer (we've introduced him before) as one of its participants. An eccentric and passionate character, Gerard made a grand entry, reciting lines from Shakespeare's Rome and Juliet imitating his favourite character Frank Spencer and performing a scene from The Bold and the Beautiful.
Genevieve was taken aback by his amazing ability to remember lines and perform them with such talent and her desire to help him tackle an industry that she knew it would be challenging, was the start of a lasting friendship.
Be My Brother
Following this encounter, Genevieve cast Gerard as the lead role in her short film 'Be My Brother'. Having never acted in a film before, Genevieve helped overcome his self-conciousness, assuring him that he was “wonderful just the way you are” in the role. She couldn’t be more right when, after submitting the film to Tropfest in 2009, Gerard won Best Actor.
Following their success, Genevieve went on to launch Bus Stop Films and continued to work closely with Gerard. Their next film, 'The Interviewer' (2012) went on to win several awards and Gerard’s career took off, landing roles in commercials, speaking engagements and even a Hollywood film.
Inclusion in the Film Industry
Not only have they helped each other in their careers, but the two are spreading an important message worldwide, recently visiting LA and presenting to Disney HQ about the importance of inclusion in the film industry. Gerard also recently did a voice over for a children’s eBook titled 'I Didn't Like Hubert' (download from Apple App Store) about how befriending someone who is different can really change your world for the better.
Gerard has challenged Genevieve to let go and live life to the fullest in his spontaneous ways, showing that you really can achieve and be yourself without worrying about what others think. They remain close friends today, having attended each others birthdays, and even Genevieve’s wedding where midway through reception he broke out into breakdance and had the crowd cheering. Gerald says “Genevieve has always believed in my ability as an actor and has taught me that you don’t have to be perfect in life to fulfill your dreams,” which is something that people both with and without a disability can really learn from.
As someone in the film industry, Genevieve has had the power to influence and challenge stigmas of the film industry through her respect and belief for Gerard and her capacity to treat him with ease on set as she would with anyone else.
Gerard says if he hadn’t met Gen his life would be very different and he would never have been able to pursue his love for acting and taken on complex roles with confidence. His biggest dream is to keep acting and would love to land a role on the Bold and the Beautiful.
We celebrate the wonderful friendship of these 2 talented individuals and admire how much each of them demonstrates inclusion, achievement and possibility.
We will be watching Gerard and Bus Stop Films closely.