After a shock return to the pool, Grant Hackett sat down with regular GQ scribe, Fontaine, to talk about the Olympian’s turbulent career (p50). “Grant’s had a life of dizzying highs and desultory lows,” says Fontaine. “He’s a fabulous athlete and a fallible man – I admired his trust and hope we earned it, too.”
IT’S A GREAT YARN. ANY MEMORABLE INTERVIEWS THAT DIDN’T GO SO WELL?
Too many to mention. Let’s just say if Nick Cave or Christian Bale have a Christmas card list, I wouldn’t be on it.
THEIR LOSS. AND A FAVOURITE?
Probably James Brown. He leapt straight on the call, talking high-grade jive and then after 15 minutes he hung up. I never asked a single question.
ANY WRITING PET PEEVES?
The phrase ‘such is life’. It’s the laziest write-off, disclaimer or segue. It’s also a misquote – Ned’s final words were: ‘Ah well, I guess it has come to this.’
MORE BAD NEWS FOR BEN COUSINS, THEN. WHAT’S THE LAST THING YOU READ AND REALLY LOVED?
Martin Flanagan’s The Last Quarter – footy stories told with operatic sweep.
BEST WRITING ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Write the story like you’re telling it to someone in a pub.