At home

Ian Sten­lake on Mamma Mia! and mak­ing fam­ily time

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - Words Cather­ine Nikas-Bou­los Pic­tures Tim Pas­coe More mam­mamiath­e­mu­si­

Ac­tor Ian Sten­lake is clearly rel­ish­ing the role of Sam Carmichael in the Syd­ney pro­duc­tion of Mamma Mia! The Mu­si­cal. The pro­duc­tion has been a smash hit and a na­tional tour beck­ons, but Ian has been at home long enough to en­joy some fam­ily time at his Rand­wick apart­ment, and get that longed-for mo­tor­bike li­cence.

“I am orig­i­nally from Queens­land, but I have been in Syd­ney for about 20 years, aside from a short stint in Mel­bourne,” he says.

“Big mu­si­cals take a lot out of you with eight shows a week, but be­ing in Syd­ney, in my home town, has been great. Even when I am trav­el­ling with the show, I try to come back home to Syd­ney as of­ten as pos­si­ble for some nor­mal­ity.”

Though there’s noth­ing “nor­mal” about his whirl­wind life, with Perth the next port of call for the cast, be­fore they move on to sea­sons in Mel­bourne and Ade­laide.

Ian says he wasn’t pre­pared for the af­fec­tion peo­ple have for the show, which adds an ex­tra layer of en­joy­ment to the pro­duc­tion.

“It re­ally snuck up on me how much it im­pacts the au­di­ence,” he says. “Peo­ple go home feel­ing happy and that’s ex­tremely re­ward­ing.”

He takes pho­tos of his wife, ac­tor Am­ber Sten­lake (nee Mul­ley), and fam­ily on the road to make his tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion feel like home, but other than that, flow­ers are a must-have. e.

“I love flow­ers,” Ian says. “I ab­so­lutely need to have some liv­ing things in the house and when I am on tour.”

Ian has had a dream run on the mu­si­cal stage with the pro­duc­tion but he is also look­ing for­ward d to re­turn­ing to TV, hav­ing made a name for him­self on shows such as Stingers and Sea Pa­trol.

“Top of my wish list would be to do a TV show in Syd­ney,” he says. “That would be a dream.”

Bud­dha statue I go to Bali a lot, and this statue re­minds me of Bali and of peace and tran­quil­lity. I do med­i­ta­tion and yoga. I’m not a tragic, but I do try to and main­tain a healthy lifestyle.

Pi­ano Mu­sic is a big part of my life though I don’t play the pi­ano enough. I learnt to play as a child, then re­learnt as an adult. Ev­ery time I make the time to play, I never re­gret it.

Gui­tar I don’t play it as of­ten as I would like, but I have spent a cou­ple of years try­ing to do a show about Smoky Daw­son. It re­ally calms me to play.

Sea Pa­trol I was lucky enough to do Sea Pa­trol after quite a few mu­si­cals. I did 68 episodes and it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence. eri­ence. We shot on the Gold Coast, Mis­sion Beach and Cairns.

Wal­laby jersey I played rugby union as a kid. I pur­chased this to wear at a char­ity gold day with Jack New­ton where you had to come dressed as your favourite sports team.

Shake­speareLex­i­con I want to do Shake­speare next. In my first years as a pro­fes­sional ac­tor I was with a Shake­speare troupe and I have re­ally fond mem­o­ries.

Framed Le­u­nig im­age This was given to me by one of my best friends, Matthew, and rep­re­sents the dream — be­ing able to get to a point in your life where you can just re­lax. That would be great.

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