“Pull up a seat as I tell you the tale of the Magic Chair”

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page -

Gather round ev­ery­one y and I’ll tell you a tale of mod­ern day magic gic that will as­tound you. You will prob­a­bly ob­a­bly pass this story on to the next gen­er­a­tion. For it’s a cau­tion­ary ry tale of how seem­ingly harm­less inan­i­mate nan­i­mate objects can nearly de­rail ail your en­tire life, tak­ing your loved ones down with you.

It’s the tale of the Magic Chair (copy­right yright pend­ing).

We all have some­thing like this in our house and we don’t know now it.

Let’s look ok to a decade ago. The year ar is 2008 and the world orld was a dif­fer­ent place. lace. We had fin­ished with th Mys­pace, moved onto o Face­book and the Prime me Min­is­ter was Kevin Rudd – the first time around.

My then n fi­ancée Lisa and I lived in a one-bed­room oom place with no car r space. It was great for us s and we had a nice dining ng table which was a feature re of our lounge/ dining/kitchen. chen. When peo­ple came me over and we needed to quickly clean up, my soon-to-be n-to-be bride would ask me to clear the table so *in­sert sert friend’s name here* could d dine with us. No p prob­lemo. For I had dis­cov­ered the Magic Chair. It was, to the un­trained eye, a simple dining chair a at the end of the table which no-one eve ever sat in. But this su­per­nat­u­ral seat could hold all our pa­pers, lette letters and bills, and then be slid neatly back into po­si­tion. Tab Table clean. Thanks Magic Chair. This worked so well that I be­came heav­ily re­liant on the chair for my clean­ing du­ties. Ad­dicte Ad­dicted if you will. It worked so well and it was such a seem­ingly easy so­lu­tion so­lu­tion. I should have sold it on an in­fomer­cial: “Act now and get a bonus table and chairs free! Never clean again!” The sun was shin­ing two weeks be­fore we were to meet at the al­tar and I was con­fi­dent I’d con­vinced my be­trothed that she had hit the jack­pot. He sings. He can kind of dance and, most im­por­tantly, he can re­ally clean a table. My iphone 3 rang and it was my sis­ter won­der­ing if she was still in­vited to our wed­ding. “Of course,” I in­sisted, start­ing to sweat. Damn you, Aus­tralia Post. Turns out about 10 or more in­vites were lost in tran­sit. I couldn’t be­lieve it. How am I sup­posed to trust this fail­ing ser­vice?

It was af­ter I told my fi­ancée about the call that we made the grim dis­cov­ery.

In a haze of Magic Chair en­dor­phins I had placed a bunch of en­velopes con­tain­ing our spe­cial-day de­tails in my favourite place. Re­al­ity came burst­ing in. The spell had been bro­ken. I felt fool­ish – ex­posed as the char­la­tan cleaner that I re­ally was. I apol­o­gised and made sheepish con­tact with all those who’d been ne­glected to as­sure them they were in­deed in­vited to our nup­tials. I had hit my clean­ing bot­tom and I’d ad­mit­ted the prob­lem.

Still to­day, when I see a side cup­board or foot­stool, I fight an urge to load it up with cloth­ing or toys. Some­times I do. You know, for old times’ sake. Lisa, now a decade away from the chair that shall not be named, just coughs or shakes her head.

Maybe one day it’ll re­turn. Un­til then, I’d bet­ter clean off the dining table. David co-hosts To­day Ex­tra, 9am week­days, on the Nine Net­work.

You’re part of a very ex­clu­sive club: women who have kissed Brad Pitt and had it im­mor­talised on­screen. What are your memories of 1994 film Le­gends Of The Fall? I feel re­ally lucky. It was an amaz­ing time. But I’ve also re­ally en­joyed the stuff that’s come through later and, in a funny way, I think there’s some­thing about the ma­ture sup­port­ing roles I’ve re­ally en­joyed. I just feel re­ally lucky to still be work­ing. Sto­ries like Le­gends Of The Fall and First Knight seem to have mi­grated from film to tele­vi­sion. Are you a small-screen binge-watcher? I have a kid, and we’re huge fans of Doc­tor Who. We love Mod­ern Fam­ily and silly come­dies. But I tend to still watch more films than TV. The ’90s, the era in which you be­came a star, is a huge in­flu­ence on the fash­ion world right now. At age 53, are there any fash­ion trends you’d like to see re­turn? Or ones you never again want to see rear their heads? It’s not so much a fash­ion thing as a hair­style: I never want to see that straight, for­ward fringe with the roll out. It looked atro­cious on me and I fiercely de­fended it – I wish I hadn’t. I didn’t have it long, but it was long enough. And those big shoul­der pads. That would be my go-to “please can we not go there again”. You stepped into Au­drey Hepburn’s shoes for the re­make of Sabrina. I don’t be­lieve that any­one can step into her shoes. It was very in­tim­i­dat­ing and I just felt like I’d do a good job of the ugly duck­ling. I un­der­es­ti­mated it – as a Brit who’d grown up in the world of theatre, where we redo clas­sics again and again, and we’re quite ex­cited and wel­com­ing to see some­one’s new per­for­mance. I think I some­what mis­guid­edly went, “That’s OK then.” It’s only once I got there and talked to peo­ple and they’d say, “That’s my favourite movie,” and I’d think, “Oh god.” What was be­ing in Mad Men like? It seemed like you had a lot of fun as Me­gan Draper’s mother, Marie. I loved it; that was my first grand­mother role. It’s one of the first times for me that I’ve gone and worked on a show I was com­pletely crazy about and re­ally ad­mired and loved. It was an adult ver­sion of a kid go­ing to Dis­ney­land and dis­cov­er­ing that Pluto and Goofy are real. It was a bit bizarre, but I loved it. It holds such a high bar in terms of the writ­ing and the ex­e­cu­tion and pe­riod de­tail, but I just to­tally, to­tally loved it. I think [co-star] John Slat­tery can barely open his mouth with­out mak­ing peo­ple laugh. Was it hard not to fan­girl and just keep touch­ing Jon Hamm? Yes, he told me to stop do­ing that.

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