Ultimate bad boy
Sporting legend Mark Wary puts his clothes on for a reality-TV home invasion, writes Erin McWhirter
HE’S up there with Wayne Carey, Shane Warne and Ben Cousins when it comes to being a bad boy of sport.
Unlike his sporting contemporaries, however, Mark Wary has made the daring decision to allow cameras into his life for a reality-TV series.
Wary, who first appeared on our screens in the Channel 10 sketch comedy show The Wedge, has convinced his girlfriend and mates to give us a glimpse into their world in Mark Loves Sharon.
Wary, played by actor Jason Gann and often dragged out of trouble by his hapless manager Jerry Dabelstein (played by Dailan Evans), is a man who lives by a simple philosophy— deny, deny, deny.
The sporting legend chats candidly about how his wild antics put pressure on his long-suffering manager and his girlfriend Sharon Metcalf (Abby Meates). You have cameras in your face all the time. How has it been shooting the show? It’s a bit of a shock to the system. I’m not used to having them (cameras) in my face in my home. I have to wear a lot more clothes these days. Have you felt a need to censor yourself for the program? I tried doing that in the first couple of hours, but that went out the window. I’m a bit worried because there were cameras following me around at a nightclub one night and I had a couple of drinks and you forget they are there. More so for Sharon, there is a lot of stuff I don’t want her to see because she might interpret it the wrong way. Sometimes they make things look worse than they are. I’m a bit edgy about that. I want to see the master before Sharon does. I’m going to go back to what Jerry has always taught me and deny, deny, deny. How did you meet Jerry? He was a couple of years older than me at my high school and I’m ashamed to say that before bullying was uncool I did play around with some of the less fortunate kids. Jerry was a senior when I was in year 9 and I tormented him a bit. Back then it was called character building. I crossed the line in a situation and there was a chance I would be expelled from school, but Jerry came to my aid and just got me out of it, which I felt was very big of him. He’s been getting me out of trouble ever since. Do you feel you put a lot of pressure on Jerry with your wild ways? He is the worrying end of the scale and I look at it more like water off a duck’s back. If I worried about everything I did wrong I would be sitting in the corner crying all the time. It’s like we are handcuffed together and have escaped from prison, but we can’t escape each other. Where does your interest in sport come from? My mum, who died when I was eight, was a great athlete and good at the 400 metres. My dad is still around and he claims it’s his genes that have been passed on to me. But Uncle Mick was Mum’s coach— well he isn’t really my uncle, but I just call him that because he was around all the time. Actually, most people say I look like Uncle Mick more than Dad. Where is your father now? Dad is of no fixed address. He will blow in and get me to sign a bit of stuff and flog it off on eBay or do whatever he does, and then he will disappear as quickly as he arrives. He ordered a mail-order bride last time he was here on my credit card. Do the bad-boy antics come from an unstable upbringing? I don’t want to blame anyone. I’m proud of who I am, but I do guess my dad makes me look like an angel. But the stuff I do gets blown out of proportion. My antics do tend to get sensationalised and I’m just a typical Aussie bloke and just happen to be exceptionally good at many things, and as a result it’s often those things that get me into trouble. Are you mates with Ben Cousins, Shane Warne or Wayne Carey? Benny and I are, but it’s difficult because we both were chasing after the one bird a few years ago one night in WA and I ended up taking her home and texted Benny the next day, but he never returned the text. I don’t know what sets me apart from other sportsmen or why I have that appeal to the opposite sex. Mud just doesn’t stick. What type of girlfriend is Sharon? She is a chameleon in many ways. People have categorised her as being dumb, but I tend to think of her as being smart dumb. She is very, very smart at acting dumb. Is it difficult to have a relationship when you are both a bit self-obsessed? No, I think it keeps the relationship fresh. I think that healthy dishonesty keeps our relationship fresh. A lot of people say that you can’t have a relationship without honesty, but we dispel that theory.
Kicking goals: Jason Gann as Mark Wary and Abby Meates as Sharon, and (inset) Wary and manager Jerry Dabelstein, played by Dailan Evans.