“We all lived together because there were a squad of actors who moved from interstate, so everyone just shared houses.”
Shortly after his stint on the Channel Ten drama series, he went on to take up a role in radio on Nova 100.
However, in 2006 he resigned following the suicide of his girlfriend Lainie Woodlands. “I had nine weeks off and couldn’t bounce back."
“I went through a personal crisis and didn’t recover... It’s the only contract I wasn’t able to fulfil in my life, and I always did pride myself on being able to see a job through – just couldn’t on that one. I was in between 25-30, suffering from a range of mental health and personal issues and just couldn’t be enthusiastic enough about [Australian band] Madison Avenue.”
Another hurdle he faced was supporting his sister Connie, who passed away on Sept. 8, 2017, after years of battling breast cancer.
“She got her medal for services to humanity and we were all laughing about that,” he says, about the moments before her death.
“She just laughed and put on her posh English accent and went, ‘Services to Humanity’ and took the piss. We all laughed for about half an hour and then she fell asleep and didn’t wake up.”
Nowadays, the actor, 40, says he copes with his stress by heading into Daylesford in rural Victoria for some downtime.
“When you’re an ADHD kid and you’re impulsive, you can end up in trouble in the big smoke,” he says.
“I’ve worked hard on myself over the years, I’ve never been arrogant enough to think that I don’t need help,” Johnson adds.
“I’ve received a lot of help and I’d like [to thank] the many professionals who have helped me to this point. I just couldn’t have done it alone. It’s hard to know how to treat yourself if you don’t understand things like psychology.”
If you or someone you know needs help, contact: beyondblue 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au; SuicideLine 1300 651 251; MensLine 1300 789 978; Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.