DNA Magazine - - FEATURE -

DNA: I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here made you a house­hold name. Were you pre­pared for that sud­den fame?

Joel Creasey: When you come off the show, still in Africa, the first per­son you see is a psy­chi­a­trist who ex­plains what’s hap­pened in terms of your pro­file. So you get that sup­port but, no, I wasn’t ex­pect­ing that at­ten­tion. When I re­turned to Aus­tralia there were pa­parazzi and peo­ple rush­ing up to me and it was all very ex­cit­ing. Coin­ci­dently, I launched a stand-up tour off the back of it, which did very well! What was the most dif­fi­cult thing about that ex­pe­ri­ence in Africa?

It was shar­ing space with oth­ers. Stand-up com­edy is a solo sport and I’m used to call­ing the shots. I didn’t en­joy hav­ing to split re­spon­si­bil­ity among 14 oth­ers. There’s the lack of con­trol and it can be re­ally bor­ing. If you’re not in a tucker [food] trial, there’s noth­ing to do all day. I never en­joyed school camp and yet there I was in this group en­vi­ron­ment. I found that first night over­whelm­ing.

You made friends with Mau­reen McCormick [the ac­tress who played Mar­cia Brady], but ap­par­ently her hus­band banned her from see­ing you!

Oh my God! One night in LA, I took her to a gay bar in Santa Mon­ica called Roost­er­fish and sent her home at about 3am. A few weeks later, Ju­lia Mor­ris tried to catch up with her but Mau­reen’s hus­band said, “You’re not hang­ing out with those Aussies any­more!”

Do you still have con­tact with her?

I do and I send her the odd email. I re­ally miss her some­times, but if I go over to the US again I’ll catch up with her for sure. She’s di­vine!

It’s nice to know that Mar­cia Brady turned out to be a fag hag, eh?

A to­tal fag hag! She tweeted the other day how she hosted some big gay LA char­ity event.

Let’s talk about you and some other Hol­ly­wood women. Joan Rivers re­ally took a shine to you, and you ded­i­cated your new book to her.

She had me open for her in New York, and was so nice to me. I don’t think she re­alised how huge her in­volve­ment in my life was. I came back to Aus­tralia as the boy who was Joan River’s sup­port act. She’s to­tally the rea­son my ca­reer got a huge head start, and she was so down to Earth. I see many artist and diva de­mands back­stage for plat­ters and puppies and all that crazy shit but, each night, at 81, Joan Rivers only wanted a prawn cock­tail and a glass of house red. I think that is so classy.

And then there’s Car­rie Fisher who you bonded with at the Just For Laughs fes­ti­val in Mon­tréal. Like Joan, she died just as you were get­ting to know her.

I know, I’m jinxed! Mau­reen bet­ter be care­ful! My par­ents were in Star Wars as ex­tras and my dad is clearly vis­i­ble in the fa­mous scene where Princess Leia is brief­ing the troops in The Em­pire Strikes Back. Ap­par­ently she was a crazy diva on set and she was a crazy diva when I worked with her but she was also lovely and re­ally down to Earth. When I told her about my par­ents she said I should make sure they aren’t re­lated like Luke and Leia! Af­ter the show we hung out for ages and she gave me a re­ally long hug, for like half an hour.

You also got to hang out with Neil Pa­trick Har­ris in Mon­tréal. How was that?

I met him af­ter I had just bro­ken up with my boyfriend and I thought he was hit­ting on me be­cause through­out the whole in­ter­view he kept star­ing at my hand. When we fin­ished he said, “Do you know your hand’s been bleed­ing dur­ing the en­tire in­ter­view?” I think I had stig­mata! It was so weird. I thought he was go­ing to slip me his room key but, no, I was bleed­ing! I don’t know how a hand just ran­domly bleeds?

You must be a saint!


You came out at 16. Many older peo­ple as­sume it’s much eas­ier to come out these days, but is it?

I had a very good ex­pe­ri­ence. I was out in high school, and it’s in­ter­est­ing that none of the stu­dents, ex­cept for the odd dick­head, seemed to have a prob­lem. I didn’t get any more bul­lied than some­one with red hair. I ac­tu­ally think it was some of the teach­ers who had more of a prob­lem with it. I imag­ine com­ing out would be a lot harder in re­gional towns but I do think it’s eas­ier now. I hope that ev­ery time my­self, and oth­ers, ap­pear on shows like The Pro­ject it’s help­ful for peo­ple.

You’re a very con­fi­dent per­son, and in this busi­ness you need a thick skin. How did you be­come so re­silient?

Be­cause I knew I was gay from a young age I had to have a de­fense plan in place. Although, I didn’t re­ally have to use it. It was good prac­tice for stand-up, and I think that’s why gay men and women make such good co­me­di­ans – be­cause we have that men­tal strength. It’s also just blind faith. I think it’s got­ten me into trou­ble, to be hon­est.

Your nick­name, the Acid Tongue Prince, comes from you speak­ing your mind. Is there any sub­ject that’s too sen­si­tive, even for you?

No, I don’t think there’s any sub­ject that would be off-lim­its but, that said, cer­tain peo­ple han­dle cer­tain sub­jects dif­fer­ently. I just talk about what I know. I wouldn’t, for ex­am­ple, go into race, but I think when you start tak­ing top­ics off the ta­ble, com­edy loses some­thing. The right peo­ple need to han­dle the right top­ics. In fact, I’m so bored see­ing straight comics do ma­te­rial about gay mar­riage. It’s such a hot but­ton and an easy way to get a round of ap­plause. A lot of it is ul­ti­mately ho­mo­pho­bic. I know a top Aus­tralian comic who does a joke about his two gay friends who have a jet ski, and he says, “I’ll suck a lit­tle bit of dick for that lifestyle.” That’s ac­tu­ally not right. Enough is enough.

You’re headed to Afghanistan to en­ter­tain the troops. That’s very Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe of you! How did this come about?

It is so Mar­i­lyn, isn’t it? It’s ac­tu­ally been de­layed and I’m wait­ing to get the call up to go over. It’s been a dream of mine for­ever. I got asked by the army to go a few years ago and I couldn’t, but it came up again last year. I know plenty of comics who have gone and I’ve al­ways wanted to add it to my CV. It’d be so in­ter­est­ing and, hope­fully, I’ll get ma­te­rial out of it. Host­ing Euro­vi­sion for SBS… what was the high­light for you?

With­out a doubt, be­com­ing friends with Myf Warhurst. She’s one of the most spec­tac­u­lar peo­ple I’ve ever met. There’s no ego and she’s very in­tel­li­gent. I adore her and we’ve be­come best friends.

A few years back Myf Warhurst was voted the most spank­able fe­male TV per­son­al­ity in Aus­tralia. Who do you think would be the most spank­able male?

Rob Mills. I was work­ing with him the other night and he’s so charm­ing, dap­per and sexy. I’d say him! Who’s your mu­sic diva?

Ce­line Dion. I love her voice and how ridicu­lous she is. I think she’s em­brac­ing that she’s a bit crazy now, with all the fash­ion shoots she’s do­ing for Vogue. She’s camp and knows how to put on a show. It’s All Com­ing Back To Me Now is so over the top, but my favourite is My Heart Will Go On.

Speak­ing of which, did you ever get com­par­isons to Leonardo DiCaprio when you were younger? All the time! Not so much now, but when I was a teenager and in my early twen­ties I’d get it a cou­ple of times a week, and I was fine with that!

On a se­ri­ous note, there was that ho­mo­pho­bic ex­pe­ri­ence you had in the Vic­to­rian town of Co­lac. But you re­turned to the scene of the crime with Rhys Ni­chol­son and a film crew. Did that ul­ti­mately be­come a pos­i­tive?

Ul­ti­mately, it did. Rhys is one of my best friends, and that doc­u­men­tary is one of my proud­est pieces of work. I don’t know if it did much for the town, but when we went back the new mayor, Lyn Rus­sell was ab­so­lutely amaz­ing. She wasn’t there the first time when I was phys­i­cally chased out but she was there when I re­turned. It was a crazy ex­pe­ri­ence but it was fun go­ing back and turn­ing that whole thing on its head. >>

The gay mar­riage de­bate has af­fected me way more than I thought. It’s got­ten so ugly.

>> How would you describe your friend­ship with Rhys? Is there ri­valry?

We’re best fre­namies. We to­tally have ri­valry and laugh about it. He’s very pri­vate and keeps to him­self. He’s got his fi­ancé and they bought a house, whereas I’m a bit older and more a party an­i­mal. When Rhys comes to stay with me I al­ways take him out for a bit of a bender.

What do you think of Han­nah Gadsby’s de­ci­sion to re­tire from com­edy?

It’s a loss and such a shame. I love Han­nah and she’s my mum’s favourite co­me­dian, which is quite odd. I hope she doesn’t dis­ap­pear com­pletely. I think she finds it all a bit over­whelm­ing, so fair enough be­cause at times it can be.

Are there any fa­mous co­me­di­ans who have in­flu­enced you? Even from the old school?

I love Robin Wil­liams and Rowan Atkin­son. Then there’s Kathy Grif­fin, Chelsea Han­dler, Sarah Sil­ver­man, Ju­dith Lucy, Fiona O’Lough­lin, Denise Scott… all the grand dames. I love all those girls. When we in­ter­viewed Tommy Lit­tle he said he’d never heard of Lu­cille Ball. Please tell us, as a gay man, you know who she is!

Oh Tommy! Of course I know who Lu­cille Ball is and I love her. She was the orig­i­nal, even be­fore Joan!

If you could zap your­self into any sit­com in tele­vi­sion his­tory, what would it be?

You know… I don’t re­ally like sit­coms. I don’t know why I don’t like them. If I had to, I’d say Will And Grace. My other dirty con­fes­sion is that I can’t stand car­toons! When my boyfriend watches Archer or The Fam­ily Guy, I’d hon­estly rather stab my­self in the face. I just can’t re­late to them. I had a big fight with my boyfriend the other day about this.

Tell us about your boyfriend.

His name’s Jack Strat­ton-Smith. He’s a model and he’s gor­geous. An­other mag­a­zine ran a story that we’re en­gaged but we’re not. It’s weird, be­cause we’ve been get­ting all these congratulations mes­sages!

You have 63K Twit­ter fol­low­ers and 82K on In­sta­gram. How do you deal with trolls?

Oh, I love them. I re­spond and I’m re­ally friv­o­lous be­cause they don’t ex­pect you to re­spond with a laugh. It kind of shocks them!

The gay mar­riage de­bate – what’s your view on how it’s played out so far?

It’s af­fected me way more than I thought it would. I thought I’d be fine, but it’s got­ten so ugly and dis­gust­ing, and I don’t know why it has to drag on for so long. I haven’t voted yet be­cause I lost the keys to my let­ter­box and I can see the form sit­ting inside! I’ve just or­dered a new pair of keys, so don’t worry, I will! Your au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Thirsty: Con­fes­sions Of A Fame Whore is re­leased this month. What can peo­ple ex­pect?

There’s lots of celebrity sto­ries about me and Joan, Car­rie and peo­ple like that, as well as sto­ries about my child­hood. It’s just an hon­est book about my life. I never had any strug­gles grow­ing up so it’s not one of those Aussie bat­tler sto­ries. I have a gor­geous fam­ily in Perth and I try to give a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive on be­ing a young gay man in the Aus­tralian entertainment world.

There’s a great story in the book about an en­counter you had with a Syd­ney Swans foot­ball player at an air­port.

Oh yeah, I was queu­ing up be­hind this Syd­ney Swans player for a cof­fee at the air­port lounge and he turned and said, “I’m not sign­ing au­to­graphs to­day.” He ob­vi­ously thought I was a fan but I didn’t know who he was. Then a sup­porter, wear­ing a Syd­ney Swans scarf came over, tapped me on the shoul­der and said in front of the en­tire queue, “Ex­cuse me, are you Joel Creasey? I saw you on TV last night. I think you’re re­ally funny!” The shocked look on this foot­baller’s face was hi­lar­i­ous. An­other Syd­ney Swan you’ve in­ter­acted with was Barry Hall on I’m A Celebrity… Is the bro­mance still go­ing?

I haven’t seen him for a while as he’s just had a baby with Lau­ren Brant (from Hi-5) who’s an­other good friend. We’re still mates and he’s such a nice guy. Peo­ple got the wrong im­pres­sion of him. He loves the gays and I had a beau­ti­ful con­ver­sa­tion with him about how dis­ap­pointed he was in Ja­son Ak­er­ma­nis, who said some very ho­mo­pho­bic things. Barry just gets it. You stud­ied drama, do you see your­self hav­ing reg­u­lar act­ing gigs in the fu­ture?

Yes! I’ve fin­ished work­ing on the new show Sis­ters, and I’ve also just done Neigh­bours.


Yes, I’m the new gay who comes to Ram­say Street. I don’t think you’ll see me un­til next year. I’m just guest­ing, but there’s po­ten­tial to come back.

What celebrity would you turn straight for?

I’m ob­sessed with Jessica Chastain (The Mar­tian). I love women with red hair, and I love her so much! Okay, let’s play gay celebrity Fuck, Marry Or Kill. Your choices are: Tom Bal­lard, Josh Thomas and Nathan Valvo.

Well, I used to date Nathan Valvo, so I’d kill him. I’d fuck Josh Thomas and I’d marry Tom Bal­lard. I’m very in love with Tom Bal­lard. He’s so in­tel­li­gent and such a great rep­re­sen­ta­tive of our com­mu­nity. I adore him. But I’d run Nathan Valvo over with my car!

You’re known for do­ing nude self­ies, but you also said you’d love to do a sex tape. When is it com­ing out?

Who knows? Maybe when my ca­reer goes through a slump. I’ll ei­ther go back onto I’m A Celebrity… or I’ll do a sex tape!

What can we ex­pect you to be wear­ing to the beach this sum­mer?

Nine­teen-six­ties-style Speedos. I like the high rise around the hips. I think they are very cool.

That makes us think Joel Creasey is a briefs man in the un­der­wear de­part­ment.

I like briefs, and I share them with my boyfriend. Some peo­ple think it’s weird that we share un­der­wear, but I think it’s fine. We do wash them! We share each other’s clothes too, but he’s a bit big­ger, so he breaks them.

I’d fuck Josh Thomas, marry Tom Bal­lard, and run over Nathan Valvo with my car!


MORE: Thirsty: Con­fes­sions Of AFame Whore is out now. Joel is also tour­ing na­tion­ally, check on­line for tick­ets or go to joel­

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