Char­lie’s bad habits still dog Han­dler

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

CAL­I­FOR­NI­CA­TION star Evan Han­dler reck­ons Aus­tralians must be a lot more open­minded than his US com­pa­tri­ots.

Han­dler, who plays agent-turned­pornog­ra­pher Char­lie Run­kle in the con­tro­ver­sial Chan­nel 10 se­ries, ex­presses amaze­ment that we screen the show on free-to-air tele­vi­sion.

‘‘Here (US), it’s on sub­scrip­tion TV,’’ he says. ‘‘It could never hap­pen here (be broad­cast on free-to-air).’’

When it’s ex­plained that the se­ries’ de­but sea­son last year did at­tract the ire of some re­li­gious and con­ser­va­tive groups, he says that is a drop in the ocean com­pared with how Amer­i­cans would re­act if Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion was broad­cast on a main­stream free-to-air chan­nel. Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion, MA15+ Chan­nel 10, Sun­day, 10.40pm Life of a sex ad­dict Du­ra­tion: 35 min­utes

‘‘It would be a mi­nor ker­fuf­fle com­pared with what it would cause here (in the US),’’ he says with a laugh.

‘‘I think it pushes the bound­aries for pay-TV here. Our pay-TV doesn’t bust out into the pub­lic dis­course.’’ Han­dler’s char­ac­ter fas­ci­nates him. ‘‘Char­lie is in­ter­est­ing to me. Tom (Kapinos, se­ries cre­ator) has painted a guy who is ap­par­ently very suc­cess­ful and creative in his ca­reer,’’ Han­dler says.

But as Han­dler points out, Char­lie’s world comes crash­ing down.

‘‘He (Char­lie) and Hank (David Du­chovny) get to­gether more in this sec­ond sea­son and com­mis­er­ate about what’s go­ing on,’’ he says.

When asked about the for­mer X-Files star’s sup­posed treat­ment for sex ad­dic­tion, Han­dler is frank and to the point.

‘‘I can say that thank­fully I know noth­ing about David’s sex­ual ap­petite,’’ he says.

‘‘David never shared his per­sonal life with me, so I’m bliss­fully ig­no­rant.

‘‘Along the way, I sent him an email ask­ing if he was OK and I got a re­ply back say­ing he was.’’

Han­dler, mar­ried to Ital­ian-born chemist Elisa Atti, has made head­lines for dif­fer­ent rea­sons — his re­mark­able re­cov­ery from a sup­pos­edly in­cur­able form of leukemia.

He wrote a solo the­atre piece and book, Time on Fire, about the or­deal and re­cently re­leased his sec­ond book, It’s Only Tem­po­rary: The Good News and Bad News of Be­ing Alive.

Han­dler learnt last week that Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion had been signed for a third sea­son.

A fur­ther 12 episodes will go into pro­duc­tion next year for a late 2009 pre­miere.

‘‘Show­time (pro­duc­tion com­pany) has been gen­er­ous enough to sign us up again,’’ he says.


Evan Han­dler.

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