Actor Ben Lawson stopped Australia in its tracks over the weekend, when he posted a heartfelt and emotional video on his Instagram account.
The premise was simple.
An Australian, sitting in his apartment on the other side of the world powerfully expressing his grief through a poem and capturing a sentiment that all Aussies around the world were feeling.
Titled “My country from an Expat”, the six-minute video encapsulated the devastation of the bushfires that are engulfing our country — a poem, which took 48-hours to write.
Speaking exclusively to The Latch from the very kitchen he recorded the powerful verse, Lawson admitted that he was still “coming to terms with it all”.
“A week ago, I was sitting right here in my apartment in Vancouver, alone with my dog, trying to put on paper all the things that I was feeling,” he said during the interview.
“I was just trying to get this knot out of my stomach and deal with what was happening to our country in a way that I could articulate.”
The Bombshell actor was candid when he spoke about the depth of his grief — admitting that he was “crying” throughout the entire process.
“I cried for weeks leading up to it,” he confessed. “It took roughly 48 hours. But I didn’t do really anything else at that time. I just sat down and wrote.
“From the Saturday night, I started and then I wrote it down in a stream of consciousness sort of style, you know, ‘what am I feeling, like what do I want to say?’”
And it was no exception when recording it.
“I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to get through it,” he said. “I was crying when I wrote it. I cried for weeks leading up to it. It was the first and only take and I got through most of it without being overwhelmed.
“It felt urgent, you know? I knew it couldn’t take a month. This is happening right now.”
Like many of us, the 39-year-old has a clear political stance when it comes to the bushfires and climate change.
“I live in the United States where climate change is climate science and it’s a much bigger conversation,” he said.
“It’s a much bigger debate than it should be, because “the Office”, the “Leader of the Free World” is doing all he can to debunk it — so it feels like a fight that I didn’t think we’d still be having at this point.”
Lawson described that “shockingly” it feels like you’re trying to “explain string theory to a bunch of children”.
“It shouldn’t be this hard. It’s like someone is trying to convince you that the earth is flat, it’s like, why are we still talking about this? It’s insane.”
Comparing the world to the “Twilight Zone”, the Heartstrings actor says that social media is filled with “people commenting with these f——king conspiracy theories, trying to debunk climate science”, which he believes is “just adding insult to injury”.
“It makes me so mad and I’m not good with not replying to idiots, who are like “arsonists are to blame for the fires. It makes my blood boil.”
“At the moment, we’re just going the complete opposite direction to the rest of the world in terms of environmental politics and looking after the future of our planet.”
But while the world seems to be in chaos, Lawson believes we’re all in this together, and even when he’s away from home, he finds the Aussie spirit.
“There are other Aussie’s here that are working on the show [Netflix’s Firefly Lane], crew, and there’s a sort of feeling of looking after each other. Coming back from the break after Christmas and New Year, just sort of feeling more intimate and checking in with each other.
“Australians everywhere in the world are feeling, like, all these things. This helplessness, anger, grief but also pride and it’s like an unspoken connection in a different way then us Aussies are usually connected. At least, I’m feeling a brother and sisterhood across the world are coming together in spirit.”
But, when he does come back to Australia, he often wonders why it has taken him so long to get back.
“You know, it’s like if you just walk out of that airport and you’re thinking, it’s different. This is my home.”
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Thank you to all those who have stepped up to help us so far! If you can spare a few bucks please go to @cfavic @sa_countryfireservice @qldfire @nswrfs @tasmaniafireservice @wireswildliferescue @rspcaaustralia @wwf_australia @portmacquariekoalahospital @wildlifevictoria @buyfromthebush Thank you x 🐨