“As I reach my mid-40s, I feel like I have missed the midlife crisis”
As I sauntered towards my 45th birthday earlier this month, I humbly admit, I felt truly happy. I’d never been comfortable as a teenager. Hey, who is? My teen years rs were full of bad acne, Brut t 33 and one helluva mullet.
My 20s felt like trying to compensate for not going g to uni or TAFE. So, of course, , I got a David Beckham faux-hawk awk with frosted tips. I wasn’t t stopping to smell the roses, and as I reached my 30s I was not happy.
Then, I met my wonderful wife with whom I now share a wonderful life, and feel fortunate to have three gorgeous kids who are a wonderful handful.
So age suddenly doesn’t mean much to me in my mid-40s. Do you know why? I feel like e I’ve missed the biggest trap rap of all. The Midlife Crisis.
I can look in the mirror or and say, “I do not have an earring. ring. I do not have a red sports car. No hair piece.” Come on! This isn’t anything like I read about on WEBMD (which I just did).
“Of course you are having ving a midlife crisis, dear,” exclaims claims my extremely British wife ife from the passenger seat of our large family car full of old sultanas and chip packets. “I mean, look at you. It’s just that you are having one like the dad in Paddington 2. 2.” For tho those who are not down with the sequ sequel to this school holidays movie cla classic, the dad (not a bear) starts juicing juicin and doing yoga. “Just like you you!” Miss Marple concludes as we park the car. “You do those things and more more. It’s like you are hav having the crisis – but on the other end of t the spectrum.” Close up of me: m my knuckles are gr gripping the steering wh wheel. I look into the rear rear-view mirror, sweat beadi beading on my now obviou obviously lined forehead. Shoul Should I get some Bro-tox for th that? Wait, is that a greyi greying eyebrow hair? Is it two?? My world is spinn spinning. I feel like I am falli falling backwards into my own half-life cros crossroads – lovingly nudg nudged by the most trust trusted person in my life. Whe When did this start? Have I missed the war warning signs? WEBMD wouldn’t li lie to me. It’s basically a doctor. It’s all the surgeons in the world on the internet, right?
I am startled by a knock on my windscreen. “Come on, no time for a crisis. We’ve got to get dinner on.” She is now sounding like a sassy Mary Poppins.
I open the door to the people mover and four Shopkins fall out at my feet. This wouldn’t happen if I bought a car like Magnum P.I. It would just be me, my full dark moustache and my Hawaiian shirt. Not a care in the world. Just adventure and rubbernecking at the kids in the street as they yell out to each other, “Check him out – he’s still got it.”
I’d rev the car, wink and say “You bet kids”, or something cooler. How much would it be to insure that car though? Bloody hell. You’d be too scared to drive it. I also can’t grow a mo worth talking about. It’d be cheaper to just keep juicing.
I walk into the mania that is my house and think, “If this is my crisis, then I am loving it. Fire up the Nutribullet, kids. Daddy’s home!” David co-hosts Today Extra, 9am weekdays, on the Nine Network.
Interview by NAOMI CHRISOULAKIS
It’s been 20 years since you chucked in your PR job to take a risk on acting… if you could go back in time and give yourself some good advice what would it be? Is it? Wow. I feel very old all of a sudden. I wouldn’t change anything. Early on it wasn’t easy, and you still get periods of rejection. But ultimately I’m still an optimist and I think you have to do what you love. Then it’s not work, and that’s how I feel still. I’m as passionate and as excited by working as I’ve always been. The two characters you’re probably best known for, Billie Proudman from Offspring and the infamous Roberta Williams from Underbelly, are big, brash personalities. Do you find that people also expect that from you when they meet you in real life? With Roberta I used to get people begging for me to swear at them, and punching me in the arm. And I sometimes think, “Gee, I wish I had one of those great writers from Offspring writing my responses.” Because writers make you so much wittier than you can ever be in real life. Will we see Billie and the Proudmans come back for a season eight? I’ve always said that between seasons, the longer it takes probably the less likely it is. But we had a two-year hiatus and then we came back, so clearly I am the wrong person to ask. I genuinely don’t know. We had a pretty good run. I love doing it so much that I don’t think I could ever say no. Your latest project, West Of Sunshine, follows a dad who’s scrambling to look after his child while on the hustle. Does that ring a bell for you? Oh, yes. It is a juggle: sick kids, working, day care, kinder, whatever it is, and trying to earn an income while looking after your family. That’s exactly the terrain of this film. And my character is doing just that; she’s running a bakery as a single parent with kids running around during school holidays and, as it happens, she also runs a drug empire. What a multi-tasker. I went for it because that’s really interesting. And what I love about [director] Jason’s [Raftopoulos] script is that there are no bad guys in this, it’s all grey. You’ve just celebrated a decade of marriage at age 45. If you had to describe that sort of long-term commitment in three words… I think it’s optimistic; the act of getting married is an incredibly great leap of optimism and hope. It’s committed and it’s brave. Can I add another? It’s beautiful. You’re an ambassador for the Magical Getaway Foundation, which helps disadvantaged families go on holidays. What are some of your favourite memories of family breaks? We would go every summer to Phillip Island [southeast of Melbourne], and we still do. We shared a big beach house, three bedrooms for about 20 people… there were bodies everywhere, and an outdoor toilet. The days felt like they went on forever. When I was eight we went for a year to Europe and travelled in a campervan. My dad had been a workaholic, and I don’t have memories of him until then. We did correspondence school and we were together all the time. Now I talk to him a couple of times a day; we’re so close, and it all started from that point. I think holidays are really important for families.