Shane Richardson, General Manager of Football, features in a new film, Chasing Comets, written and produced by ex-NRL player Jason Stevens.
Set in Wagga Wagga and directed by Jason Perini, the AFL/NRL comedy drama is a fictional version of Jason Steven’s life set during his footy career.
Writing about what he knew, Stevens wanted to include many of the “colourful characters” he met in Rugby League… Shane Richardson being one of them.
Richardson cameos as himself, depicting the time when he was working at the Sharks from 1994-1999.
“The camera loved him,” Stevens described with a laugh.
“I didn’t pay Richo for doing the cameo but I didn’t charge him either for making us go into overtime because he took so many takes!”
Their relationship remains as colourful as ever, with Richardson having a cheeky dig at his long-time mate.
”My line in the film was ‘He’s got a head like a smashed pie’ and that’s not far from the truth. That would explain why he decided to stay behind the camera,” joked Richardson.
“I didn't ask for money because he wouldn't shout if a shark bit him and nothing has changed but, really, I do love him and his wonderful family.”
On a more serious note, Stevens asked Richardson to be involved in his film as a gesture of goodwill after developing a close bond with the Rabbitohs General Manager on and off the field during his playing days.
“It’s a story about a player facing and challenging his own values and moving into faith,” said Stevens.
“I wanted to have someone that knew me and knew the story of my time. He was a great encourager of me personally but also of my family’s story.”
With the release date of the film yet unknown, Steven is excited to tell his story and is honoured to have the opportunity to transfer his skills he learnt on the field into the film industry.
“I began the journey of learning film after I retired from league in 2005,” said the Australian and NSW representative prop.
“I love the fact that the NRL really encourage people to stretch themselves and do something outside of their comfort zone. Like the skills you learn playing football, they want you to use them to transition into a different field.
“I drew on some of the experiences I had whilst playing and from some of the colourful characters I met.
“We’ve gone heavy on the comedy without trivialising the dramatic moments, especially when our lead, Chase Daylight (Dan Ewing) realizes that it’s more important to have victory in your personal life, than on the field.
The film features a vast group of well-known Australian acting names including Isabel Lucas, Dan Ewing, Rhys Muldoon, Stan Walker, George Houvardas, John Batchelor, Peter Phelps and more. Stars also include former NRL player, Beau Ryan and DJ Havana Brown.
“The cast we have assembled is amazing and typifies the good will towards the project. We hope this translates onto the big screen.”