In a Q&A that first appeared in Encore, Adam Zwar, actor, writer, producer, director and creator of ABC series The Agony of Life talks about his media habits and staring in Aussie ads.
Who is the most powerful person in Australian media and why?
John Edwards. Most Australians watched a John Edwards show last year. He works very hard. I don’t know when he’d get a chance to have time off but he must because I once saw him with a tan.
What one medium could you not live without?
The internet, obviously. When things are bad, I can always go on Twitter and see some clip that Sam Pang has posted of a young Don Rickles on Carson. Or Wil Anderson smashing out 10 jokes a day. Or Lawrence Mooney saying something offensive that he’ll never regret.
Your one guilty media pleasure?
Michael Bodey’s book, Broadcast Wars. I’m starting to get to the age where books are being written about people I actually know. That is a delicious pleasure. God, I hope Bodey never writes anything about me.
The next big TV industry trend is…
Patrick Brammall. The Australian television public are starting to get a glimpse of what theatre audiences have known for years, which is that Patty is the funniest actor in the country (Paul Denny, you’re bloody funny too). He elevates whatever material he’s working with. Please go to YouTube and type in ‘Patrick Brammall Lowdown’. You won’t be disappointed.
Your favourite TV program is…
Veep. Just because I’ve sometimes challenged other people’s sense of morality doesn’t mean I want mine challenged. Sometimes I just want to sit back and be entertained. And that’s why I like Veep. It’s like sipping a well-made hot chocolate.
If you weren’t doing this for a living what would you be doing?
Journalism. I love interviewing people. I get my fix by doing The Agony of Life.
Your best piece of career advice…
Lose weight. Lose Far North Queensland accent. Be funnier.
Would you recommend working in this industry to your (hypothetical or otherwise) kids?
Of course. Showbusiness is hard, but I’d hate them to miss out on all the fun.
What is your favourite Aussie ad?
Years ago, I did an ad for health insurance company HBA who were promoting three months’ health insurance for free. I played a character with bucked teeth who went into an HBA outlet and said: “Can I have three for free.” But because of the fake teeth I was wearing, I ended up saying: “Can I have Fwee for Fwee.” Anyway, the ad was popular, and wherever I went people would go: “Say it. Say it.” So I’d say: “Can I have Fwee for Fwee.” And a disappointed look would fall over their faces as they’d tell me how much better I was in the ad. And a lot skinnier too, apparently. So I hated that ad. But as the years have gone on, I’ve made peace with it and now I quite like it.
Watch Adam in the HBA ad with thanks to Ebiquity:
This feature first appeared in the tablet edition of Encore. To download click on the links below.