The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

Ben Lawson

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Most vivid childhood memory?

The lead up on the Advent calendar. The excitement of lying awake on Christmas Eve, unable to sleep. Then waking up early and finding a sack of presents and barely being able to comprehend how amazing life was.

Living in LA, what do you miss most about your hometown of Brisbane?

Well if I said anything other than my parents I’d be disowned. But honestly? My parents.

What’s best about LA?

People love to hate LA but I think that comes from spending either not enough or too much time there. For me the perfect amount of LA would be half the year. If it becomes your whole world I think you’re in trouble because it’s a strange reality. What’s been best about it for me is it gave me a career.

When are you happiest?

When I’m working. Noel Coward said work is more fun than fun and I find this to be very true. Also travelling.

When was it clear you would be an actor?

I don’t remember ever not wanting to be an actor. It was something I was drawn to from a very young age. But even once I’d graduated from drama school I’m not sure it was clear I’d be an actor because you’re constantly reminded most actors give it up.

Who do you most admire?

I have four brothers I admire for different reasons.

What advice changed your life?

I don’t know if it changed my life but I heard Jim Carrey tell the story of his father who could have been a great comedian but he decided to do the sensible thing and become an accountant instead. Then he ended up losing his job and his family had to scramble to survive. The lesson is that if you can fail at what you don’t want to do you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.

Who should play you in the movie of your life?

1990s Kevin Kline.

What is your greatest achievemen­t?

If this book makes a lot of money for The Koala Hospital, then it’s this book.

What inspired you to write To My Country?

The longing and pain I felt for Australia during last year’s fires. It felt like a friend was in hospital and I couldn’t get back there.

Have you written poetry before?

I’ve always written silly rhyming verse for friends, girlfriend­s, parties. I gave a best man speech in verse once. But I’ve taken it more seriously only recently.

What has 2020 taught you about life?

The importance of connection, travel and purpose. I also heard someone say “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”, which I thought was a good lesson.

What’s next?

I’m going to stick around Australia for a few months and enjoy the summer. I have a show coming out on Netflix in February called Firefly Lane.

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