Australian actor/comedian Josh Lawson has women drooling and the crowd roaring with his sharp wit, good looks, self-effacing humor and all round nice-guy persona. Starring in The Wedding Party, Romantically Challenged, Sea patrol and Thank God You're Here, Josh is enjoying a rise as Australia's "it" boy also making it to GQ Men of the Year list. Josh's credits include Home And Away, Blue Heelers, Coke a Cola ads, The Librarian, host of Channel 9's Wipeout, a lead role in Chandon Pictures, Hey Stranger and Squid. I'm looking forward to the release in 2011 of 25 and Crave so I can get another fix of Josh as lead man.
Josh Lawson has agreed to the following interview. As Comedy Central's comedian Anthony Jeselnik said "Gabrielle Reilly asks the hard-hitting questions no Australian swimsuit model has ever dared to." So how does Josh Lawson fare in this straight-to-the-point interview with Gabrielle" Read on...
GABRIELLE REILLY: You have that hot "Zoolander" thang about you (I have to say "hot," I wear a swimsuit). Do you find all the girls catch their breath and stare at you when you enter a room?
JOSH LAWSON: Absolutely, but it's usually because I've forgotten to wear pants, or the room happens to be a Ladies Change Room. Or both. And wait a minute - "that hot Zoolander thang"? Really? Couldn't you have picked someone smarter? That's like saying, "You're one of the sexiest morons I've ever met." Either way, thank you.
GABRIELLE REILLY: Chuckle, a "sexy moron." Look at your eyes though Josh, and that look, they are like "Blue Steel." Women would be weeping if you showed us your "Magnum."
So, I know you love comedy and have studied comedic statistics on what is most likely to make people laugh. Can you share your most fascinating/useful statistic with us comic wannabe's?
JOSH LAWSON: The funniest letter in the alphabet is K, the funniest number is 12, and the funniest animal is a three toed sloth. That's all you need to know.
GABRIELLE REILLY: Who is your favorite comedian?
JOSH LAWSON: I have great respect for any stand-up. I tried it a few times and was absolutely woeful. Though the best stand-up I've ever seen was a British comedian named Daniel Kitson. His comedy kind of transcends stand-up - it's almost a one-man play. His stuff stayed with me for a long time.
GABRIELLE REILLY: I did a two week course at NIDA summer school once when I lived in Australia. It was really great but the class kept on making this pretty girl and I kiss as our improvisation session (they said I wasn't getting it right), so it was a little distracting although at least I found out for sure I wasn't gay. Since I sort of missed that segment can you share your most useful tip on improvisation with me?
JOSH LAWSON: What?! Who was taking the class - Ron Jeremy? I went to NIDA for three years and they never asked me to kiss a girl. Bastards. But the most important thing to remember about improvising is this: don't try to be funny. Just play the truth of the scene, and it will probably be funny. And if it's not - that's okay. Audiences care more about the story of a scene than the jokes in it. And the second tip is this: if someone is offstage telling you to repeatedly kiss a girl, it's not improv - it's soft porn.
GABRIELLE REILLY: Chux, I just did a search to find out who Ron Jeremy is (ah, I think we have some different viewing preferences). Laugh, yikes. Boy, I wish I had your second tip back then. But isn't that the new way to bump your ratings if your getting desperate, with the girl kiss? In fact even the mere mention of it will probably increase the hits on this interview page tenfold.
Who is your favorite actor?
JOSH LAWSON: I grew up idolizing Michael J Fox. I must have seen the Back to the Future movies a hundred times, and certainly every episode of Family Ties. He is the master of reacting. The older I get the more I realize how heavily he has influenced the way I act. So I guess what I'm saying is I like him because he reminds me of me.
GABRIELLE REILLY: Who is your favorite actress?
JOSH LAWSON: Surely you can't go past Meryl Streep. The woman is a freak. Nothing seems to be out of her range. She's the sort of actor you watch and think to yourself, "Why do I even bother?"
GABRIELLE REILLY: What is your favorite movie?
JOSH LAWSON: I know I should say something profound here, like Citizen Kane or Schindler's List, but my answer to this question is always the same - Ghostbusters. It has everything a good movie needs. It's clever, and funny, and thrilling, and moving, and outrageous, and bold, and ambitious. It's as brilliant now as it was 20 odd years ago. Plus Ray Parker Junior's theme song? Unbelievable.
GABRIELLE REILLY: If you could have any role you wanted what would it be (besides performing on Dancing with the Stars)?
JOSH LAWSON: Besides Dancing With The Stars? What else is there? I've always wanted to play Ben Braddock in The Graduate. But that probably has something to do with my penchant for older women. Oh, who am I kidding? It's entirely to do with my penchant for older women.
GABRIELLE REILLY: A "penchant for older women?" I think you just gave many women the incentive to quit lying about their age. Note to diary, have assistant accidently send Josh all my untouched-up pictures.
What has been your favorite career highlight so far?
JOSH LAWSON: I co-wrote and starred in a low-budget feature called $quid that was shot a little over a year ago. Nobody got paid, we all got sick, and we barely ate anything for 6 weeks, but it was the most fun I've ever had working. If all my jobs were half as much fun as that job was, I'll die a happy man. Of course, if all my jobs pay as much, I'll die a broke man too.
GABRIELLE REILLY: What was the most surprising thing for you about LA (or America in general) compared to Australia?
JOSH LAWSON: Americans have an extensive and baffling variety of handshakes. You think you're going in for a run-of-the-mill shake and then you're confronted with some mutated form of it. And just as your hands are adjusting to it, you find yourself in a pseudo man hug. So next time you give that a shot, they come at you with a fist bump. It is a strange, unnecessary and often gay social semaphore that I'll never truly understand.
GABRIELLE REILLY: Thanks Josh, your a sweetheart.