‘I didn’t think good it was TV’

Dan MacPher­son breaks his si­lence on Mark Holden’s Danc­ing With The Stars train wreck

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

THEY say you should steer clear of work­ing with kids and an­i­mals in live tele­vi­sion. Danc­ingWith

theS­tars host Daniel MacPher­son might add 60-year-old clowns to the list.

MacPher­son hasn’t weighed in on “Bobo-gate” (Mark Holden’s term for the out­landish per­for­mance in which he men­aced judges in a half­hearted dance rou­tine) un­til now.

“I’ve kind of kept my mouth shut and done my job,” MacPher­son says. “I guess I was just dis­ap­pointed. I didn’t think it was good tele­vi­sion. I’ve never had any­body in a live sit­u­a­tion de­lib­er­ately make fun of each of the judges, rub them­selves up against me while spit­ting in my face, and push­ing up against me. Then threat­en­ing to sue the net­work, all in the space of about 45 seconds. So it cer­tainly kept me on my toes.”

At 34, hav­ing spent half his life on our screens, ex­pe­ri­ence helped MacPher­son stay the course as Holden’s an­tics be­came in­creas­ingly strange.

“I was hope­fully tak­ing it in my stride and try­ing to work out what we were do­ing next, which is how I roll,” he says.

“If you want to di­vide an au­di­ence, fan­tas­tic. That was ob­vi­ously Mark’s MO from day one. I think he was more in­ter­ested in col­umn inches than he was about dance steps. But if it was a stunt to get rat­ings, it didn’t work.”

Now in its 14th sea­son, DWTS has an au­di­ence of roughly one mil­lion – give or take a cou­ple of hun­dred thou­sand – year in, year out.

It is, MacPher­son says, “bombproof”. He is yet to com­mit to an eighth sea­son (“we’ll get through this one first”) but may re­turn next year.

Based in LA with long-term girl­friend Zoe Ven­toura, he is putting all his en­ergy into cracking Hol­ly­wood. Hav­ing worked long stints in

Neigh­bours, The­Bill and City Homi­cide, film projects ap­peal be­cause they’re a shorter com­mit­ment.

Ear­lier this year, he fin­ished film­ing sci-fi flick In­fini, in which he head­lines, with co-stars Luke Ford and Luke Hemsworth.

“It’s kind of like we know we’ve got this ace up our sleeves, but we’ve got to wait for it,” he says.

“That’s the big one I’m wait­ing for peo­ple to see, be­cause it was a com­plete de­par­ture for me. My first lead. And my first all-Amer­i­can character, cast and ac­cent.”

For two years, MacPher­son has split his time be­tween Aus­tralia and the US. State­side, he en­joys the ob­scu­rity of be­ing just another ac­tor in the au­di­tion process.

“I’ve come sec­ond like, five times,” he says. ”You’ve got to stay re­silient in times like that.”

In LA, he and Ven­toura get back to ba­sics with act­ing classes.

“It forces you to work a lot harder. Every­body does it, whether you’re a big star or some­one who’s just moved there. [Zoe has] worked along­side John Cu­sack, she’s worked with Har­vey Kei­tel, she’s shot a com­edy pi­lot back here in Oz. She’s do­ing well.”

MacPher­son has built a rep­u­ta­tion as an ath­lete, com­pet­ing at an elite level in iron­man com­pe­ti­tions around the world. Hav­ing ticked his bucket list of races, he’s now tak­ing a step back from com­pet­ing.

“I now want to put all that en­ergy into my ca­reer,” he says.

Iron­i­cally, work may lead him to gain some of the weight he worked hard to lose as a teen.

“In In­fini I was in the gym a lot. For The­Cup, I lost 12kg to play a jockey. There’s a movie next year that I might have to put that amount of weight on for. If that hap­pens, I’d love to do it, it’s right up my al­ley.”

DANC­ING WITH THE STARS

TUES­DAY, 7.30PM, SEVEN

Clown­ing about: Left, Mark Holden’s in­fa­mous DWTS per­for­mance left much to be de­sired for co-host Daniel MacPher­son.

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