“As I reach my mid-40s, I feel like I have missed the midlife cri­sis”

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page - West Of Sun­shine is in cin­e­mas on Thurs­day.

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.


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.

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