LIVE: Q&A with actor Rhys Muldoon

NEWCASTLE-born actor Rhys Muldoon has arguably one of the most varied careers in his industry.

Having worked extensively in film, television and theatre, Muldoon’s CV includes roles on Secret Life of Us, Bastard Boys and, more recently, on the hit drama House Husbands.

Muldoon also has a long-running spot on Play School and recently earned an ARIA nomination for his children’s album, I’m Not Singing, co-written with Kram of Spiderbait.

He also collaborated on a children’s book, Jasper & Abby and the Great Australia Day Kerfuffle, with former Australian Prime Minister  Kevin Rudd.

Weekender caught up with Muldoon on the eve of taking part in this year’s Jack Newton Celebrity Classic charity golf event,  which is held at Cypress Lakes Resort in Pokolbin on December 18 and 19.

Congratulations on your ARIA nomination.

Thanks, I was at the ARIA’s last year but I’ve never been nominated before. I’m pitted up against all the big hitters – The Wiggles and Bananas in Pyjamas.

Songs on your children’s album remind me of new-wave band Devo. Were they an influence?

Yeah there’s a bit of ’80s electronica stuff going on. I used a Casio for that one [I’m Not Singing]. The bottom line was I just wanted to make a good album and I got Kram, whose my mate from Spiderbait, to help out. I rang him up and said, ‘We’re allowed to make a record.’   Then  we  just went down to a studio and basically started sending the label bills and the occasional song. They said, ‘It’s either going to do really well or we’re all going to lose our jobs. We’re not sure which.’  Hopefully the former [laughs].

You must have listened to plenty of songs for kids over the years?

Yes [laughs] well having done Play School for so long ... I just wanted to do some funny songs that kids and mums and dads would like.  I thought, ‘I’m sure they can handle rockin’ beats and the word poo.’ 

What’s it like to have kids as fans?

It’s sort of mental, especially with Play School because when it’s little, little kids, they can’t believe how big you are. Normally they’re at eye level with you on the telly so when you stand in front of them in real life, you’re a giant and they freak out a bit.

How did the book with Kevin Rudd come about?

We’ve been friends for a long time. The idea for the book came up and he’s obviously a very busy man so the only chance we had to get together was when he was sick one day. I had to go to Kirribilli house to work on it.  

Did you send your commiserations to Kevin when the family’s cat (and subject of the book) Jasper died in October?

Of course, of course. Jasper was a great cat. I know the whole family really well.

You grew up in Newcastle. Do you have memories of the city?

I was born there at the hospital up on Newcastle Beach which they have since knocked down. I only lived in Newcastle as a baby before my family moved to Malaysia, so I don’t really have any memories. I have photos of me there so I sometimes think I remember being there but I think it’s just because I’ve looked at the photos so many times [laughs].

You’re taking part in the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic. How’s your golfing game?

It’s shocking. I think I have played five games of golf in my entire life. They asked me what my handicap was and I said, ‘What’s the worst handicap you can have?’ 

Other participants include Wendell Sailor and Jimeoin. Who is your biggest competition?

Everybody is my biggest competition. Firass [Dirani from House Husbands] is also heading up and Gyton [Grantley, also of House Husbands] has been part of it before and said what a great event it is.

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