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Natalie Bassingthwaighte reaches the pinnacle of her art
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Natalie Bassingthwaighte reaches the pinnacle of her art

When Natalie Bassingthwaighte read the script for Prey, the outback horror movie released later this year, she told the director 'You don't know how real to life this is.'

Back in 2002 she had ventured into the West Australian desert with a group of friends and it had gone horribly wrong too.

‘It was when I was in Perth doing the musical Chicago’ she explains. ‘Some of the cast and crew decided to visit the Pinnacles. But we took a wrong turn somewhere along the way and ended up in the middle of a Navy bombing range.’

It got worse. The 4WD Natalie and her friends were driving got a flat tyre. When they tried to change the tyre they discovered the wheel nuts were rusted on.

‘We totally freaked out,’ laughs Natalie. ‘We saw a Live Bombing in Action sign and all around us were all these blown up tanks and trucks. We had no food left, no one could get any mobile signal, it was just one disaster after another.’

They started walking. Eventually someone got mobile service, but no one they called answered. Finally, they found a piece of paper that had a map and a phone number on it. It was the officer in charge of the bombing range.

‘When we told him where we were he said, “You’re so lucky, we were bombing out there yesterday” Someone had just forgot to take the signs down.’

Natalie and her friends weren’t out of danger completely though. The officer told them that the area was so vast that it could take him a few days to find them.

‘We had no food and no water,’ says Natalie. ‘I wondered how we were going to survive.’

The group sat in the shade of a stand of scraggly trees and waited.

‘It was spooky,’ says Natalie. ‘Just quiet and empty. We’d just seen The Blair Witch Project and started joking that this was The Pinnacles Project.’

Luckily, the Naval officer they’d spoken to was having a bit of fun with them.

‘Suddenly there was this big gust of wind and he just turned up in a Navy helicopter,’ says Natalie. ‘We were rescued!’

Half of the group wanted to go back to Perth. The other half wanted to keep going on to the Pinnacles. In the end they pushed on to the Pinnacles.

‘They were amazing,’ says Natalie. ‘Which is lucky considering what we went through to get to them!’

Natalie won’t be drawn on whether her character in Prey meets a more grisly end.

‘All I can say is that there’s a lot of action, a lot of gore and that it’s a really cool adventure as well,’ she laughs.

Just like a spontaneous trip to the Pinnacles then.

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