WATCH: Michael Caton opens Nanango Film Festival
ICONIC Australian film and television star Michael Caton never dreamed of an acting career while honing his craft at a Gympie boarding school.
Caton, known to audiences as Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle or Ted Taylor from Packed to the Rafters, said a professional career was the "last thing" on his mind when he started performing on the stage.
"I just did it because I like it. I had no idea I could make a quid out of it," he said.
"My life has been a series of little surprises.
"It's a series of little boxes that have opened."
Speaking to open the Heritage Bank Nanango Film Festival on Friday night, Caton said one of the most crucial turning points in his life was the two years he spent in Gympie.
"I went to school with people from here, Mundubbera, Biggenden, Kingaroy," he said.
"The wonderful thing about going to Gympie…was that everyone sang. We used to do elaborate comedies, we'd make the sets themselves, put them on in a real theatre.
"You weren't a sissy if you sang. It was the most wonderful time for me.
"I failed miserably all my exams but majored in school concerts."
Following his schooling, Caton performed at the Twelfth Night Theatre in Brisbane.
"I just found my niche," he said.
Caton is the celebrity guest for the film festival, which continues on Saturday and Sunday.
He described the film festival as a "real community event".
"Events like tonight don't happen unless everyone gets behind it," Caton said.
South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Keith Campbell described the special guest as a "true blue Aussie".
"He's as real in person as any character you've seen him play on the screen," Cr Campbell said.
What you can still see at the Nanango Film Festival:
Saturday, 11am: Last Cab to Darwin (M). Screening features an introduction and Q&A with Michael Caton. Tickets are $5.
Saturday, 2pm: Broke (MA 15+): A disgraced sports star and gambling addict attempts to turn his life around with the support of his number one fan. Tickets are $5.
Saturday, 6.30pm: Looking For Grace (M): When rebellious 16-year-old Gracetakes off, her exasperated mum and dad enlist the help of a close-to-retirement detective, and begin the long drive from Perth out to the West Australian wheatbelt to try to find her. Tickets are $20 and include finger food and two complimentary drinks. A portion of ticket sales will go to the Lynda Geiger Young Mums Program.
Sunday, 10am: Oddball (G): The true story about an eccentric chicken farmer (Shane Jacobson) who, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog Oddball to protect a wild penguin sanctuary from fox attacks and in the process tries to reunite his family and save their seaside town. Tickets are $5.
Sunday, 1pm: A Month of Sundays (PG): Real estate agent, Frank Mollard, won't admit it, but he can't move on. Divorced but still attached, he can't sell a house in a property boom - much less connect with his teenage son. One night Frank gets a phone call from his mother. Nothing out of the ordinary. Apart from the fact that she died a year ago. Tickets are $5.
Sunday, 3.30pm: The Daughter (M): The story follows a man who returns home to discover a long-buried family secret, and whose attempts to put things right threaten the lives of those he left home years before. Tickets are $5.
All remaining screenings are at the Nanango Cultural Centre. Click here to see more information.