WHEN ART IMITATES THE LIFE OF LACHY

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY - SHAN­NON MOLLOY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Char­ac­ter ac­tor Lachy Hulme may have suc­cess­fully taken on many roles, real and imag­ined, but play­ing him­self proved a nerve-rack­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Well, an ex­ag­ger­ated, some­what ego­tis­ti­cal and all­round “a--- hole” ver­sion of him­self, any­way.

“Shaun Mi­callef rang me one day and said he was do­ing this new show and wanted me to ap­pear in an episode as my­self,” Hulme ex­plains of his cameo in The Ex-PM. “I thought I had bet­ter say yes, be­cause who else would do me?”

The ABC com­edy fol­lows former prime min­is­ter An­drew Dug­dale, played by Mi­callef, a man with plenty of time on his hands, and no in­ter­est in spend­ing any of it do­ing what he should be — writ­ing a mem­oir.

This week, a net­work wants to turn the work in progress into a tele­movie and Hulme is floated as its pos­si­ble star.

“I don’t want to over-egg the pud­ding, but in terms of show busi­ness, it’s an incredible com­pli­ment to be asked to take the p--- out of your­self,” Hulme laughs. “It’s me, but not re­ally me — a par­ody of the typ­i­cal a---hole ac­tor. It was very, very fun to film. I loved it.”

The episode in­cludes some diva mo­ments, awk­ward en­coun­ters be­tween ac­tor and sub­ject, and a few hi­lar­i­ous ref­er­ences to Off­spring.

“In one scene, Nicki Wendt de­clares: ‘I ba­si­cally am Nina!’ It was hi­lar­i­ous be­cause if I’ve heard that line once, I’ve heard it a mil­lion times,” Hulme says.

“Fans al­ways say they’re just like Nina Proud­man.”

This unique op­por­tu­nity came right in the mid­dle of the ac­tor’s year-long break from per­form­ing, which he im­posed to deal with ex­haus­tion.

“I was so burnt out and run ragged,” Hulme says. “I’d been through a very busy stretch and needed a break. But this was a fun in­ter­rup­tion of that.”

But the hol­i­day is well and truly over. “I’m back as Martin Clegg on Off­spring, ob­vi­ously, and then I’m off to Syd­ney to do a show with Rose Byrne at Syd­ney Theatre Com­pany.”

THE EX-PM, ABC, WED­NES­DAY, 9PM

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