PRESENTLY without a car but not short on stories about them, Molly actor and unicycle world record holder Samuel Johnson tackles our searching motoring questions.
What was your first car?
My first car was a 1970-something Toyota Cressida. I paid $400 for it and it was an off-yellow colour and I used to call it my Bodalla Fella (after the cheese). I rocked around in my Bodalla Fella for five years. It was the car where I first listened to Eminem, and it was the car that got me into all of the kinds of different trouble I got myself into at that age.
What are you driving now?
I've got a bicycle and I use public transport to try to stay well. It would come in handy to have a car as I live in the middle of nowhere and I'm a 45-minute walk to the train station. I'm really hoping I can get another job soon and get another cheap sh*t box.
What cars did your family have while you were growing up?
My dad had a 1970s Rover P5. It was known as a poor man's Rolls; it weighed about three tonnes and was just this big hunk of junk. The left headlight you had to pat that three times, then you had to go to the rear blinker and stroke that anti-clockwise four times, then you had to tap the radio aerial three times, two or three spins, pat yourself on the head and then it would start.
What is your greatest frustration on the road?
Failure to indicate. Please alert other drivers to your intentions. It's not hard, it requires a simple slip of the finger. I'm not a big fan of tailgaters: give me some space, relax. I don't like drivers who get angry with cyclists, we're all in it together, so let's just all be friendly and share the space. We don't hate you, why do you hate us?
What's your favourite place in the world to drive?
I've driven in the States, that's all kinds of scary. I've driven in Tokyo and China. My favourite place to drive though would have to be the middle of this country, the great red centre. Either Adelaide to Darwin or the Pilbara is otherworldly and will blow your mind.
Do you have any preferred driving music?
Any upbeat music. Eminem, Macklemore, rap.
If you were to pick anyone in the world to go on a road trip with, who would it be?
I'd have Steve Irwin in the front seat and I'd have Ned Kelly and Gwyneth Paltrow in the back seat. Steve Irwin is a legend and I still miss him, even though I never met him I think he's a champion and a warrior. Ned Kelly for the stories and Gwyneth for the sweet relief.
What is your dream car - money no object at all?
A (Holden) Statesman because they look pretty humble from the outside, they don't say look at me, but then you get in the inside and they're pretty lush. I'd be a Statesman w***er.
Who: Samuel Johnson.
Born: 1978, Daylesford, Victoria.
Resume: Had small television roles in The New Adventures of Ocean Girl, Home and Away (as Sally Fletcher's boyfriend), Blue Heelers, Stingers and Something in the Air, before his big break in 2001 when he won the part of main character Evan Wylde in The Secret Life of Us, scoring an AFI Award for Best Actor the same year.
He won the same award in 2003 for his role in the mini-series After the Deluge, while he ventured into films such as starring as Mick Molloy in 2002's Crackerjack. Has also appeared on panel shows, in theatre productions, as a voiceover artist and radio presenter, while he rode nearly 16,000km on a unicycle for charity, breaking the world record for longest unicycle journey and being awarded the OAM for services to cancer research support organisations and the performing arts.
He is currently receiving rave reviews for his portrayal of Molly Meldrum in the Channel 7 mini-series Molly.
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