How does it feel to officially be the country’s best-loved actor after picking up the Favourite Australian Actor gong at the 2021 AACTAs in December?
I don’t know if that’s really the official determining factor [laughs]. It was very unexpected and a lot of fun.
Why did you want to be involved in recording a Sleepcast?
As a dad, I can understand and relate to people having problems with sleeping and the effect that can have, particularly on school-aged kids who have lots of distractions and struggle to focus. I was really interested in the science behind the app and how it works, and was chuffed when I was asked to be a part of it.
The Sleepcast essentially uses relaxation and meditation techniques. Are you a fan of using those to combat stress?
I try a mix of things depending on where I think the stress is coming from. I generally sleep pretty well but when I’m off shooting a film, it’s harder to wind down. I’ve definitely tried sleep apps, meditation and exercise to tire myself out. I think the first step in tackling the issue is just deciding to try something a bit different, and that might be a Sleepcast, then you’ve started exploring what works best for you.
Has the success of The Dry and being back in Oz for most of the pandemic inspired you to seek out more projects Down Under?
Not really because I’ve always looked for Australian projects. [The Dry director] Rob [Connolly] and I were looking for another project to do together since we made Romulus, My Father [in 2007]. It can just be hard to find great quality material and when you do, it’s really hard to get it off the ground, but I’ve really loved helping with that. After [helping to produce The Dry] it was great to share that success with Rob, who is a good mate, as it’s no fun celebrating on your own.
Do you see yourself working more behind the scenes in the future?
I don’t consider myself a producer for hire, I just really enjoy getting behind the scripts and projects I want to be involved in and doing everything I can to get them off the ground. If that means producing, I’m happy to do it.
You’ve become known for your dramatic roles but got your start in sketch comedy. Do you still see yourself as a comedian at heart?
My brain still works exactly the same way. When I watch the news, all I see are comedy sketches and what impressions I could do with them. Australia would’ve done well to have a sketch comedy show airing during 2021 and now. There is a lot of national and community therapy that we’d all benefit from if TV series Full Frontal was still around. There is a lack of that at the moment, taking the mickey out of what is happening as opposed to all being so serious.
Available at headspace.com/sleep/sleepcasts.