Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

IT’S a good thing Ja­son Gann’s not mo­ti­vated by money. The Aus­tralian ac­tor, whose TV show Wil­fred has be­come so suc­cess­ful in the US that it at­tracts guest stars such as com­edy leg­end Robin Wil­liams, has been dealt a ma­jor fi­nan­cial blow.

Gann, who plays bongsmok­ing mutt Wil­fred in the US re­make of the Aus­tralian com­edy se­ries, says he pleaded guilty to as­sault­ing a bus driver at the 2007 Spring Rac­ing Carnival be­cause he was ad­vised that would give him the best chance of es­cap­ing a con­vic­tion that could have stopped him work­ing in the US.

He was or­dered to pay the driver $325,000 com­pen­sa­tion.

‘‘ I lost a lot of days from worry and a lot of money,’’ Gann says.

‘‘ It has cost me hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars in le­gal fees. It has cost me ev­ery­thing fi­nan­cially.

‘‘ I’ve made mis­takes and done my best to rem­edy them, and some­times no mat­ter what you do it doesn’t play in your favour.

‘‘ I don’t do this (act­ing) for the money. I do it for the same rea­son I dressed up as a bear for 100 kids in Toowoomba in 1991. Peo­ple like to see me per­form.

‘‘ I’ve sac­ri­ficed ev­ery­thing for this (Amer­ica).

‘‘ I had this op­por­tu­nity to come to Amer­ica so there was only one choice to make (plead guilty).

‘‘ In Aus­tralia, I was run­ning out of op­por­tu­ni­ties. How do you put Wil­fred in as ‘ gang­ster num­ber three’ in Un­der­belly.’’

Gann says some peo­ple were ‘‘ say­ing I was a sell-out’’ for tak­ing Wil­fred to Amer­ica.

Robin Wil­liams was not one of them.

‘‘ I’ve never been as ner­vous to meet some­one,’’ Gann says.

‘‘ He said, ‘ It’s an hon­our’ (to meet Gann). I said, ‘ The hon­our is mine’.

‘‘ To have some­one like that re­spect me af­ter all the things I’ve gone through was very spe­cial.’’ SEE our iPad app for the full Ja­son Gann story plus our spe­cial re­port on the suc­cess and fail­ure of US remakes Wil­fred, Eleven, Tues­day, 9pm

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