STEPHEN CURRY, : 30 SEC­ONDS

With his new com­edy : 30 Sec­onds, Stephen Curry is ex­pos­ing what re­ally goes on be­hind the scenes of the ad­ver­tis­ing game. Dur­ing com­mer­cial breaks, he talked with Guy Davis. Curry: “ There’s a great line in the se­ries: ‘ The hard­est peo­ple to sell to are

Geelong Advertiser - TV Guide - - Q & A -

Any pro­fes­sion is go­ing to have its pre­ten­tions, its oc­ca­sional lack of scru­ples and its cut­throat offi ce pol­i­tics. But an ad­ver­tis­ing agency seems to have it in slightly larger quan­ti­ties than other work­places ( as any reg­u­lar viewer of Mad Men will tell you!).

And all th­ese as­pects of the ad game and more are deftly skew­ered in : 30 Sec­onds, a smart new pay-TV com­edy pro­duced by An­drew Den­ton.

Set in the Syd­ney offi ce of fi ctional ad agency BND World­wide, it stars Joel Tobeck, Peter O’Brien and Un­der­belly co-stars Gy­ton Grant­ley and Kat Ste­wart.

And ap­pear­ing as the bor­der­line in­com­pe­tent but ter­ri­bly well-con­nected ad pro­ducer McBaney is Stephen Curry, star of The Se­cret Life of Us and The King ( as well as those TV com­mer­cials where he re-en­acts great mo­ments in Aussie Rules his­tory).

: 30 Sec­onds isn’t your typ­i­cal com­edy, Stephen. It’s funny but it’s not all about the punch­line.

It takes an episode to get used to the pace of it. It’s cer­tainly not go­ing for a laugh a sec­ond or the big pay­off or any­thing. It’s a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the less scrupu­lous as­pects of ad­ver­tis­ing, writ­ten by th­ese three guys who’ve worked in ad­ver­tis­ing for a long time. Three Drunk Mon­keys they call them­selves. I was hop­ing it was ac­tu­ally writ­ten by three drunk mon­keys, which some peo­ple say might have made for a bet­ter prod­uct!

Boom boom!

They’re fan­tas­tic, th­ese guys – a lot of their char­ac­ters are based on real peo­ple and a lot of the sce­nar­ios based on real sce­nar­ios, which makes the mind bog­gle. It also makes the mind bog­gle to won­der if th­ese guys will work in the ad in­dus­try again. I don’t think they’re do­ing them­selves any favours.

That said, I’m guess­ing that most peo­ple have come to un­der­stand that ad­ver­tis­ers will use just about any tac­tic to get peo­ple to buy things.

It’s not so much what the ad­ver­tis­ers are pre­pared to do; it’s what we’re pre­pared to buy. There’s a great line in the se­ries: ‘ The hard­est peo­ple to sell to are happy peo­ple’. That’s so true. When you look at some­thing and say to your­self ‘ I need that’, it’s more of­ten than not some­thing you don’t need. But you think it’s go­ing to make you a more per­fect per­son. Or, most im­por­tantly, more at­trac­tive to the op­po­site sex.

So tell us about your char­ac­ter, ad pro­ducer McBaney.

Oh, he’s an idiot. [ Laughs] But he’s got con­nec­tions and he’s not afraid to drop a name. I don’t iden­tify with that all, al­though Ge­orge Clooney does. At least, that’s the im­pres­sion I got when I was hav­ing a drink with him and Brad Pitt the other night. But McBaney is one of those peo­ple who are in ev­ery game – you look at them and won­der how the hell they got into the po­si­tion they’ve man­aged to reach. ‘ You’ve bum­bled your way into a job you’ve got no right to have, haven’t you?’

Has he got any­thing go­ing for him?

Well, he’s a lot more er­ror than trial but I do like that he doesn’t mind a free­bie. He’s a de­mon for a free­bie – any kind of cloth­ing that he doesn’t have to pay for, even if it’s heav­ily branded, he’s get­ting his hands on it. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, when you see some­one in a Mas­ter and Com­man­der T-shirt, you can be pretty sure they didn’t work on the fi lm.

Have you had any ex­pe­ri­ence with ad­ver­tis­ing types?

It’s a bit hard to avoid ad agen­cies, be­ing an ac­tor. I do a lot of voiceovers and I’ve done a lot of com­mer­cials, so I’ve had pretty close con­tact with ad­ver­tis­ing peo­ple, most of whom are gen­uinely nice peo­ple. But it is a diff er­ent world. I did a voiceover a lit­tle while ago, and there were seven ad­ver­tis­ing peo­ple in the room. All of them had diff er­ent things to say, so it was a bit con­fus­ing and confl ict­ing. In the end, the last guy said ‘ Right, Steve, can you do this one with a bit of the­atre of the mind?’ Now, I know what the­atre is and I know what a mind is but all of us in the room were looking at him as if to say ‘ What are you bang­ing on about?’ He sat down and didn’t say any­thing else for the rest of the day. That voiceover was for cheese. Some the­atre of the mind stuff will make that cheese walk right off the shelf!

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