How often on the show do you feel fear?
Not so much anymore: during the first season I was quite nervous because I’d never worked with any of the team before and I’d never done a show like that before – all my other jobs had involved playing a character. I wasn’t in the same sort of world that the others were in, so I was very nervous. But this time around I’d gotten to know the team a bit better and having one season under the belt made it better. So this time around, not scared at all.
I was thinking of certain activities that players in the show are forced to go through…
Oh, involving foodstuffs?
Right, no, I’m pretty game for anything. I’m not scared of any of the games we have to play: there are some where I think, »oh my god how am I going to do this?» There are a couple of times this season when I’m up against something I find particularly challenging, but in terms of getting covered in some kind of sauce, or general buffoonery, there are very few things that I won’t do in the name of light entertainment.
You’re one of three team captains. Do you consider yourself the smartest of the team captains?
No I definitely do not. I think the other two have me trumped there. Maybe in terms of obscure peculiar niche pop culture, but I get stumped on anything involving politics or anything involving sport: Andy takes great delight when I get given a sports question because he knows I won’t be able to answer it, often to great mockery. So no I definitely wouldn’t. And no matter how smart any of us think we are, Shaun Micallef has us in spades – he’s a bit of a polymath. He’s ten times smarter than any of us.
Will we be seeing you soon in any non-panel show productions?
Yes: at the start of June I start rehearsing a play with the Melbourne Theatre Company, called Shakespeare In Love, which is an adaptation of the movie with Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow and Judi Dench as the Queen.
Will you be playing Shakespeare?
No I’ll be playing the Queen. No, I’m kidding. I’m too young for Shakespeare. In the early modern period women weren’t allowed on stage, so I’ll be playing the actor who plays Juliet on stage. That’s directed by Simon Phillips and it’ll be on mid-July to late August.
Is there any element of acting in the job on Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, or is it all just you?
This is something I had a deep philosophical question with myself about. I think the moment you have a camera pointed at you, in an entertainment setting, something will change. That’s just a general human reflex. But I think the less we try to be performative and the more we are grounded in the moment and working and playing with the others, that’s when we have a good time and that’s when the audience has a good time. We are performing, we want them to laugh and have a good time, but I think our whole modus operandi is to have a batshit wacky family board game night – when you sit down with your family, you start playing a board game, and the moment someone lands on Park Lane all hell breaks loose.
Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation is on Nine, Wednesday, 7.30pm.