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Harry Potter star is true blue in Red Dog

AAP logoAAP 23/12/2016 Danielle McGrane
On Boxing Day, the British actor will be seen in Red Dog: True Blue. © Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock On Boxing Day, the British actor will be seen in Red Dog: True Blue.

Jason Isaacs - AKA Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter films - knows how important family movies are, especially at this time of year.

On Boxing Day, the British actor will be seen in Red Dog: True Blue, the follow-up to the 2011 hit film and ideal viewing for families over the Christmas holiday period.

"One of the million reasons why the Potters were so enormously successful is that they're very hard to do, to make something that everybody wants to watch. And clearly the first Red Dog did it and I think the second one is gorgeous, and in some ways more emotional and more family-oriented than the first one, if that's possible," Isaacs told AAP.

The film serves as a sort-of prequel to the first Red Dog film, offering a potential origin story for the kelpie/cattle dog.

"You don't need to have seen the first one to enjoy the second one. It's a kind of parallel story. I think it's unbelievably clever what they've done. Obviously Red Dog was enormously popular in Australia and someone made another story about it without feeling like it's tacked on or that it's happened before or after," he said.

Isaacs plays Mick who, in modern day, recounts the story of a summer in the 60s spent living with his grandfather, played by Bryan Brown, in the Pilbara in Western Australia. As he tells the story to his son, he recalls finding Red Dog as a pup and relives this coming-of-age moment in his life.

"I think this one is less about the relationship with the dog. Obviously Red Dog is right at the heart of it but also it's his relationship with his grandpa, it's the summer he grew up ... it's the summer he started to change from a boy to a man. And he's looking at his own kid in the bed and remembering what that was like," he said.

The film gave Isaacs the chance to work in Australia again, and continue a love affair with the country which began in 2002 when he made Peter Pan.

"I lived on the Gold Coast for over a year to film Peter Pan. I loved it so much that when I was doing interviews leaving the country I'd be on telly or radio and I'd say, 'Look if anyone is watching this or listening to this and thinks they might like to offer me a job in the future, don't wait. I don't want to pack my bags. Please offer me a job right now'," he said.

"So I was thrilled to come back and make Red Dog which we shot in Perth. I will come out to Australia for the opening of a packet of crisps."

* Red Dog: True Blue opens in Australian cinemas on December 26.

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