Life never slows down for Tim Minchin. Whether heâ€™s whacking on his musician, comedian, composer, actor or theatre hat (sometimes more than one of these at once) the Perth-born, UK-based star is arguably one of the biggest guys in the business at the moment.
Unsurprisingly, itâ€™s taken its toll on him â€“ our interview was delayed by 20 minutes because he forgot to set his alarm. Along with suffering in the sleep department, Minchin has a husky voice from belting out vocals in the UK version of Jesus Christ Superstar, where he is playing the lead role of Judas.
â€śMy voice is trashed manâ€¦ I donâ€™t know how Iâ€™ll go at rehearsals today. I had a bit of a heavy day yesterday, starting with press and ending with doing overdubs for Californication and rehearsals in between, so I kinda lost my shit a bit this morning.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ll be drinking coffee and pretending to be Judas for the rest of the day.â€ť
Minchin is very familiar with the show, having performed in local versions in Perth in his early 20s.
However, he does admit to facing a couple of challenges this time around due to his heavy workload and the complexities of his role.
â€śItâ€™s one of the most difficult contemporary parts: you have to be really careful of your voice, which I obviously havenâ€™t done this week because Iâ€™ve been doing festivals in between,â€ť he said.
â€śAnd then you have to find out a way to kill yourself on stage every night. Â But I love singing it when my voice is working, and Iâ€™m pretty excited by it.”
“Itâ€™s just a one in a million show; thereâ€™s never been one like it before or since.â€ť
By his own admission, Minchinâ€™s career is â€śridiculously good funâ€ť at the moment. Along with starring in the famed rock opera (Jesus Christ Superstar) a play he wrote the music for -Â the theatre adaption of Roald Dahlâ€™s Matilda â€“ is about to hit Broadway.
Heâ€™s also the newest star of hit US drama Californication, and his role alongside David Duchovny is enough to make any red-blooded male jealous with envy.
â€śBasically Iâ€™m just a spoilt rock star who has his own jet, takes loads of cocaine and smashes guitarsâ€¦ stuff like that,â€ť he said.
â€śSometimes itâ€™s a bit boring making TV cause thereâ€™s a lot of sitting aroundâ€¦ but you get used to it and I was doing scenes smoking a spliff on the bed with six models in g-strings and nothing else.Â So itâ€™s a pretty good job.â€ť
And then thereâ€™s what made him a breakout star â€“ his unique brand of musical comedy. After playing a series of festivals in Europe with a live band, heâ€™s bringing that experience Down Under for local fans in December as one of the main drawcards at this yearâ€™s Homebake festival in Sydney.
Itâ€™s a chance for punters to see him in a different light after a sell-out tour with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of this year.
â€śIâ€™ve got this cool band and weâ€™ve figured out how to make my comedy more of a rock gig,” he said. “So it will be more like a traditional festival set – just more piss-take than a traditional band.â€ť
â€śWeâ€™ve found a good festival way of doing my songs, so I reckon weâ€™re gonna smash it. And the kids are going crazy for it, which is great.â€ť
Those hoping to see Minchin somewhere other than Homebake are out of luck â€“ he wonâ€™t be doing any sideshows on this visit.
That is, unless youâ€™re on the guestlist at his sister’s wedding or the wedding of one of his best mates.
â€śMy sister is getting married in Perth, and then one of my best friends is getting married in Melbourne. So Iâ€™m pretty much doing Homebake and the wedding circuit this Christmas.â€ť
And thereâ€™s more bad news for those of you hanging out for Minchin to write another Confessions or The Pope Song â€“ all his other exploits are stopping him from writing new material.
â€śThe trouble with all this awesome fun Iâ€™m having and doing other things is that Iâ€™m not writing any new material at the moment,â€ť he said.
â€śIâ€™d love to tour again with my solo stuff as soon as possible, but Iâ€™m writing songs for a Dreamworks movie, then Iâ€™m writing another musical, and then Iâ€™m doing a play in Australia next year too, which I canâ€™t really tell you much about because it hasnâ€™t been announced yet.â€ť
â€śI fully intend to write another show and tour again. Itâ€™s just a matter of when; it might not be for a couple more years now.â€ť
Minchin admits that heâ€™s probably at the peak of his career right now – and life as a multitasking artist is pretty sweet.Â But itâ€™s not a lifestyle that heâ€™s unfamiliar with, nor is it one he set out to achieve at such lofty heights.
â€śMy whole obsession is with variety and when I was in my 20s and no one was giving a shit about what I was doing, I was still composing and playing in original bands and acting and singing and doing lots of different things,â€ť he said.
â€śI just got very lucky, and when I found comedy, people started listening to me and Iâ€™ve been able to sort of start going back to doing all the things Iâ€™ve always loved doing.
â€śI wasnâ€™t a hugely ambitious person, I just wanted to work really, and Iâ€™m living the dream in that itâ€™s worked out even better than I ever possibly could have imagined.â€ť
Tim Minchin plays at Homebake on December 8 at the Sydney Botanical Gardens. For all the information on the festival, click here.
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