Profile Hamish Blake
Andy Lee’s best mate knows he’s getting older but is determined not grow up, and in his latest venture he’s going back to school,
GOLD-LOGIE winning comedian Hamish Blake says it was a weird, but good feeling, to return to his old high school after a decade and a half to film part of ABC comedy-drama
Blake and the show’s creator Jess Harris actually met as teenage drama students at St Leonard’s College in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton.
‘‘That was a surreal moment for Jess and I, we were back on the stage in the theatre where in 1998 we did the Year 11 school production of Rosencrantz And Guildenstern
Are Dead,’’ he says. ‘‘It is a funny feeling, that 15 years on, you do go full circle with a film crew.
‘‘The snack machine in the common room was still there and so it was good to say hi to an old friend!’’
The new season follows Jess (Harris) and Josh (Schmidt) as they return home after a long backpacking trip to find their thirties looming and all their friends have grown up and got on with their lives.
Including Jess’s on again, off again teacher boyfriend Billy (played by Blake), who has a new girlfriend.
‘‘He’s had to move on because the real world doesn’t stop when you go backpacking and it’s sort of her quest to get him back,’’ Blake explains.
The comedian has also moved on, marrying his girlfriend of two years Zoe Foster on December 11 last year, his 31st birthday.
But he explains he’s also avoided growing up.
‘‘I’ve tried to do both at the same time, so I’ve simultaneously got married and now I’m on another gap year.’’
Blake and Mrs Foster-Blake have even collaborated on a book,
Textbook Romance, although Blake dismisses his contribution as ‘‘messing around in the margins’’.
His wife has so far declined to collaborate on another. ‘‘I keep
suggesting a book called My
Awesome Husband, By Zoe FosterBlake, but she has so far not agreed to the plot outline.’’
Twentysomething began life on Melbourne’s community channel in 2007, and Harris tapped her old drama buddy to lend a little star power to the show.
‘‘I popped up very briefly,’’ Blake explains, adding that the character of Billy was only invented after the show moved to the ABC.
‘‘My favourite bit about Jess’s writing and acting is just her great observations of the tiny little nuances of everyday life.
‘‘She captures it very effortlessly and presents a very real world, which makes it super funny.’’
While it’s a comedy, Blake’s role is pretty straight and he relished the chance to do some proper acting, rather than just telling gags.
‘‘Acting is something I really love doing,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s not like I lament the fact that with us doing our travel show it’s not something I get the chance to do often, but when I do it’s great fun.’’
Later this month, Blake will film a new movie with Portia de Rossi called Now Add Honey. And of course Hamish & Andy’s
Gap Year Asia, on Channel 9, has the duo trekking around Asia and broadcasting from a Bangkok pub.
Blake says he realises how lucky he is to never have had to get a proper job. ‘‘We’re intensely lucky,’’ he says. ‘‘Andy and I have a such a similar idea of what’s fun in life and usually that just boils down to being curious and living in a state of eternal wonder and we’ve found ourselves in jobs that, at the minimum, permit that, and at the maximum, encourage it.’’