Roberts To Make Silver Screen Debut.
By Dan Dobbin.
The bodyboarding invasion of Hollywood continues!
Hot on the heels of the revelation that Garth McGregor look-a-like Rusty Crowe is a hardcore boog lord from way back, and Dr Dre Botha will feature in Avatar 2 as a stunt double to Sam Worthington comes the most exciting news of all!
Tristan Roberts, he of 2019 World Champion vintage, is set to star in a bioptic film about the life of Australian surfing legend Michael Peterson.
Peterson was an unstoppable force in Australian surfing for much of the 1970’s, being virtually unbeatable in competition over a five year period. So much so that event organisers and other competitors went to extraordinary lengths to try to break his competition stranglehold.
Like for example the events that transpired in the 1975 Bells beach contest.
Prior to the event a meeting was held where the competitions judging criteria was change. All competitors were ask to attend, with the exception of M.P.
The fix was on.
The contest format called for surfers to compete in three round robin heats, with set points allocated for set maneuvers (i.e. a bottom turn was worth a 7, a full cutback a 14 etc). A points tally at the end of the rounds would determine the winner.
After two rounds, Peterson was in 12th place and suitably perplexed about why his usually approach untouchable surfing wasn’t being rewarded by the judges.
It was at this point that he caught wind of the new criteria.
Tracking down a copy of points per manoeuvre sheet before the final round, legend has it that Peterson tapped the new criteria to his dashboard, where he studied and dissected it, before going out and destroying the last round, ultimately winning the competition, 300 points clear of his nearest challenger.
Asked about landing the role of Peterson in the upcoming film, Roberts had this to say;
“Ya bruh, I’m super excieted to halv been arsked to tark up thies role. Obviously be-ing from Sooth Afrikka I don’t know a-lot aboot Michael Peterson’s surfing, but I know he woos a competative animal lock me. Gunna be lekker as!”.
Producer Mitch ” Thunder” Lees said he wasn’t to worried about Tristin’s lack of acting experience.
“To be honest playing M.P. won’t be that hard. Peterson was drug affected the majority of the time and a real recluse, so Tristan will just have to look moody and give monosylabic answers. What’s really important for us is that the fucker looks exactly like Michael. It’s uncanny really”.
There is however one skill Robert’s will have brush up on if he is to accurately portray Peterson on the big screen, namely his ability behind the wheel.
With his perchant for speeding and weaving through traffic, M.P.’s driving escapades were almost as legendary as those he achieved in the surf. They were also ultimately bring about what would come to be the defining moment in his life.
In 1983 Peterson, suffering from undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia, heard police sirens behind him. In his state of mental distress Peterson began driving frantically to escape the sirens, which he believed were alien spaceships out to get him.
Peterson eventually had as many as 20 police cars on his tail as he became involved in a high speed chase through Brisbane. He was eventually stopped only after another 15 police cars were used to created a roadblock across the Story Bridge.
Peterson was forced out of his car and arrested. After hearing his alien chasing account, the police assumed Peterson had been driving under the influence of drugs.
After his arrest and sentencing, while behind bars Michael was finally able to secure a diagnosis and recieve medication and councelling for his mental health conditions whilst in prison.
Moved to a psychiatric ward where he was heavy medicated and recieved electric shock therapy, M.P. was eventually released to live with his mother.
Tragically, never surfed or drove again.
Certainly a great story that needs to be told. No word yet on the release date of the film, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted as filming progresses.
If you’d like to read more incredible stories about the life and times of Michael Peterson check out Sean Doherty’s amazing book ” M.P. Untold”. Highly recommended.