NOT a day goes by that someone doesn’t yell out a quote from The Castle at Stephen Curry.
He’s been acting on screen for more than 25 years and has appeared in some of this country’s most loved TV shows, but it’s his role as Dale Kerrigan in 1997 that remains his most talked about work.
So what effect has the iconic Australian movie had on his life and what lines do people most commonly misquote? They’re just two things that Curry revealed to news.com.au in a Q+A ahead of his appearance in Drunk History, a new show that will debut on Monday night as part of Channel 10’s Pilot Week.
Q: What’s Drunk History all about?
A: It’s arguably the most original and ridiculous TV concept of the past decade. The simple premise is to film a drunk comedian telling a famous historical story. The show started on Comedy Central in the US, and now it’s finally here. They obviously couldn’t find any comedians, so they asked me.
I have the pleasure of telling the Ned Kelly story after tequila and what could only be described as a generous dose of ale. I wouldn’t have operated heavy machinery but I thought, “Hang about … let’s roll camera and I’ll launch into some ridiculous drivel that will literally never be erased. Mum will be stoked.” We’ve then re-created my meandering and frankly slanderous story as if it’s a genuine documentary.
When I arrived on set I met Anie, the paramedic, who dutifully informed me of the “safe way to get drunk on set” which is a great skill to possess. I now use this technique whenever I work. She took my pulse, my blood pressure, then brought me another tequila and said, “safely, safely, down the hatch”.
I had a great time, but unfortunately for Anie, she had to listen to me repeat my stories incessantly and put up with me telling her that she is “an incredible person and don’t you ever forget that. No, shhh. You are. You ARE. Shhh. Where are the kebabs?”
Q: Who else can we expect to see in Drunk History on Monday night?
A: Some of the well-known Aussies taking part include Gyton Grantley as Ned Kelly, Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald as Phar Lap (the role he was born to play), Greta Lee Jackson as Constable Lonigan, Lana Kington as Kate Kelly, and, in the performance of his career, the incredible Aaron Chen as Constable McIntyre.
In the pilot, Rhys Darby (Flight Of The Conchords) also gives his slightly munted account of the Phar Lap story. Who knew that Fitzy would make such a convincing Phar Lap? I saw him play a giraffe in a school play in Adelaide in 1989 and it was frankly one of the experiences of a lifetime, but seeing him as the ‘Fiery Red’ is nothing short of a tour de force. I give it 12 stars.
Q: Hopefully Drunk History gets picked up by Channel 10 and we’ll see a full series on air next year and you’ll have yet another glorious entry for your IMDB page. You’ve appeared in some amazing shows and films and I’m wondering if you could share a fun story about some of your most famous roles?
A: Here are some little-known facts that you wouldn’t have known ’cos they’re little-known:
The Castle: It gave me a career. And a mullet. And about 10,000 people coming up to me in pubs and at bus stops misquoting the film with relish for the past 21 years. “Dad I dug a ditch!” “How’s the serendipity?” “Tell ’im he’s kiddin’ himself!” Go Australia.
The Secret Life of Us: I had the great pleasure of appearing in the ill-fated fourth series of The Secret Life Of Us and have been accused by many of my close friends and family as being “the reason it was axed”. So proud. Still, I got to meet Deb Mailman so it wasn’t a complete loss.
Thank God You’re Here: The first time I did Thank God You’re Here is up there with the birth of my first child. It was terrifying, confronting and exhilarating. The second time I did it was kind of like the birth of my second child. I was relaxed, felt I knew what I was doing and it ended up a little ugly.
Toyota Memorable Moments commercials: The Toyota Memorable Moments campaign was 14 years of ridiculous fun. Hanging out with my great mate Dave Lawson and having kick-to-kick with our childhood heroes as if it was the most natural thing in the world. The highlight was meeting Peter Daicos. Sure, we caused him to tear his quadricep, but he deserved it, ’cos he called me Simon.
The King: It was the most ambitious thing I’ve ever attempted. To be honest, it had ‘turkey’ written all over it, but with the help of some sensational writing, cinematography and Matthew Saville’s world-class direction, it turned into one of the proudest moments of my stupid career … even though I had to hit on my brother Bernard (who played my best friend) in one scene. But the somewhat confused reaction from our father at the premiere was worth every second.
When it comes to movies, Randy is the best man to ask (he probably already watched it). He’s a sucker for good movies and is also a good critic, always know what’s up.