Mas­ter in so­cial sci­ence

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DAVID POUGHER

BERNARD Curry says a ca­reer in show busi­ness means he can tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween some­one be­ing gen­uine and putting on an act – and the stu­dious types from Beauty and the Geek re­ally are as so­cially in­ept as they seem.

Curry – who was Hugo on Home and Away and whose other TV and film cred­its in­clude Packed to the Rafters, Sat­is­fac­tion, Blue Heel­ers, Crash Burn, Stingers, Neigh­bours and The Dish – says when you spend time with the geeks, it’s clear they are not putting on a show.

Ju­lian re­ally does en­joy stamp and but­ton col­lect­ing, while Gil­bert spends his down time col­lect­ing belt buck­les or hav­ing a toot on his eu­pho­nium.

‘‘ But that’s who these guys are,’’ says Curry, who has re­turned from Los An­ge­les to host the so­cial ex­per­i­ment show. ‘‘ We’ve had the con­spir­acy the­o­rists talk­ing over the past cou­ple of sea­sons about the pres­ence of faux geeks in the man­sion, but the guys are straight up and down, the 100 per cent real deal.

‘‘ I think they’re a re­ally sen­si­tive, re­ally warm bunch of guys. And they’re in the show for the right rea­sons. They’re here to have an ex­pe­ri­ence un­like any other they’ll have for the rest of their lives. And they re­ally em­brace it. There are no per­for­mances tak­ing place.

‘‘ Ben­deguz might look like he’s putting on a per­for­mance but that’s part of his quirk. When­ever he’s in a sit­u­a­tion, he tends to put on a mask, if you like, but I think that makes him an in­trigu­ing char­ac­ter. But it’s not as if he’s disin­gen­u­ous, it’s just part of him.’’

But are the geeks nat­u­rally ner­vous of women or is it that their jobs and skills mean they sim­ply don’t meet them?

‘‘ It’s the chicken and the egg thing,’’ Curry says. ‘‘ I think by def­i­ni­tion these guys al­ready have a ner­vous­ness to­wards women and I think they may move them­selves into the sit­u­a­tion where they don’t meet girls for that rea­son.

‘‘ Be­ing a lab as­sis­tant or some­thing means that you don’t have to have so­cial graces, so that’s why they choose to do the things they do.

‘‘ As for the girls, they come across as con­fi­dent but you won­der if it’s a front.

‘‘ Con­fi­dence can be the way you look and the way you act and it’s a mech­a­nism that peo­ple can use to break down so­cial bar­ri­ers. But whether or not you’re truly con­fi­dent is an­other thing.

‘‘ I think a lot of these girls have a lot of con­fi­dence and they use their phys­i­cal­ity and their sex­u­al­ity to get ahead in life. But do they have in­se­cu­ri­ties? Ab­so­lutely.’’

Curry won’t judge him­self phys­i­cally but says emo­tion­ally he has a foot in both the Beauty and the Geek camps.

‘‘ Emo­tion­ally I’m prob­a­bly closer to a beauty,’’ he ad­mits. ‘‘ I’ve got in­ter­ests like quan­tum me­chan­ics and physics and I’m re­ally in­ter­ested in the Large Hadron Col­lider and the Higgs bo­son, so I have a bit of geek in me. But I like to think I have so­cial graces and I’m fairly con­fi­dent. I can han­dle my­self in so­cial sit­u­a­tions.’’ Beauty and the Geek, South­ern Cross, Thurs­day, 8.30pm

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