Rob Collins on playing the bad boy and being labelled a newcomer at age 37.
After taking home this year’s Logie for Best New Talent, you described yourself as “slightly relieved”. Why was that? I was just relieved the whole affair was over – Logie or not! The evening was really nerve-racking, for no other reason than stock standard performance anxiety. Such public events have never sat well with me, which I probably should have thought about before getting into acting. Being described as a “new talent” at the age of 37 must feel strange. It’s nice to be called “new” anything these days. And I guess in screen years, I’m relatively new, but yeah… there’s been no cereal commercial to date. There’s been a swag of stuff from amateur Shakespeare to Centrelink training role plays – which I loved, by the way. I was particularly good at playing the irate customer, which in hindsight was probably the start of what became Waruu in Cleverman. Tell us about Emoshon, the boy band you performed with in Darwin. Now you’re famous, are you too important for a reunion tour? I wouldn’t rule out a comeback, but with the exception of myself, the rest of the band grew up and got real jobs. Besides, the prospect of a group of 40-plus-year-olds singing and dancing really only works for The Wiggles. You move between romantic comedy in The Wrong Girl and serious sci-fi with Cleverman. Which comes more naturally to you and why? There are parts of both roles I’m drawn to. I’m generally a friendly, even-tempered guy, kind of like Jack on The Wrong Girl. And Cleverman deals with subjects close to my heart, so it’s easy to go to darker places. It’s a lot of fun to play the bad guy. You starred onstage in The Lion King for years. Which of the show’s songs is stuck in your head on a loop? It has to be “Circle Of Life”. Buyi Zama [who played Rafiki] has to be the best Rafiki in the world. She’s such a powerful performer. To watch her from the wings sing that opening number each night was a privilege, and has been one of the highlights of my career thus far. You and your wife Laetitia have been labelled one of the Northern Territory’s power couples. How does one achieve such an honour? We’ve often wondered about that ourselves. We have no power. Not even over our own children. Yeah, you have three children – and big careers in media. That must demand military-grade scheduling. Do you keep a spreadsheet? I’m the absent father – so I schedule nothing! Laetitia works incredibly hard, along with our wonderful family, to make sure everyone is fed and watered. As far as spreadsheets, we hate them. If it’s important, the kids will remind us. When you’re not working, where can we expect to find you? Either at Bunnings buying stuff I don’t need to build things no one wants, or at the dump shop, hoarding things that other people have had the good sense to throw away. Although you never know, I’m always on the lookout for a bargain on jousting sticks. Cleverman season two premieres 9.30pm, June 29, on ABC TV.
``It´s nice to be called `new´ anything these days´´