Australian actor Geoffrey Rush used personal experience to play an abusive father in his movie SWIMMING UPSTREAM - he grew up in the midst of people suffering domestic abuse.

The screen star plays the abusive, alcoholic father of 1950s Australian swimming champion TONY FINGLETON, portrayed by Jesse Spencer, with Judy Davis as his battered wife.

Rush says, "I know what goes on behind the closed doors of sleepy subtropical Brisbane in the 1950s, in the Housing Commission neighbourhoods.

"You would hear cries of pain coming from behind the weatherboards and the lattice windows of those houses on stilts and know that domestic dramas were taking place. I recognised the archetypes. This was a portrait of a family that was so close to me, to my background."

21/01/2005 09:53