You asked... Matt Passmore
McLeod's Daughters star Matt Passmore answers your questions on working on location, Last Man Standing, Play School and what he does with his free time...
What's your favourite thing about working on the show and is it hard working 100% on location?
Location has its good and bad points. The good point is that you're out in the most beautiful countryside and the sunsets blow you away! The downer is that it's extremely hot or freezing, and when it's hot, there are flies!
Do you ever catch up with the boys from Last Man Standing?
Yes. I haven't seen Trav in a while because he's all over the place and getting heaps of work. But Dodge (Rodger Corser) is in Sydney and we caught up in Bondi last time I was there. I can't wait to go to his wedding later on in the year.
What was it like moving from Play School to McLeod's?
In my breaks from McLeod's, I do Play School. Sometimes my McLeod's cast members are so sleepy in the morning that you have to speak to them like you're on Play School!
Now that you have relocated to South Australia, what do you do with your free time when you aren't filming scenes?
My week's taken up with McLeod's. On weekends, I go to the gym and I'm always on my Yamaha bike. Adelaide has some of the best motorbike rides in Australia. It doesn't matter which direction you take off in, you're off for a few hours on a brilliant ride. We've made a few friends down here and we've found a pub that plays the rugby league. Oh, and we've found a karaoke bar in the city. We crawl everywhere we need to.
LIFE & STYLE INTERVIEW
with Doris Younane, Abi Tucker, Dustin Clare, Michala Banas, Luke Jacobz and the gorgeous Matthew Passmore
filming a series year-round on a remote cattle farm in South Australia isn't the most glamorous job an Australian actor could ask for. But share a beer or a glass of wine and some hearty food with the cast of Nine Network's McLeod's Daughters and you'll soon realise there's no place they would rather be.
With friends and family out of reach, it's the on-set friendship that have pulled cast members through the highs and lows. More often than not the laughs, tears and rowdy conversations flow around this huge table at the McLeod's farm...
What do you love to cook?
I'm not keen on nouveau cuisine-style cooking and small amounts of anything. If I was cooking for six, I'd have enough for 14 people. I'm used to it. I cooked for Circus Oz when I toured with them and I come from a family of seven kids. I have a Lebanese background and my husband is Greek, so the combination of those two things is everything I adore. That's why I constantly struggle with my weight, because I love food.
I go through phases. I like pasta dishes and lamb roasts. I like event cooking and my dad was good at that. The day-to-day cooking is boring. I tend to rely on the Thai restaurant down the road a lot for that.
I always feel really good about myself, when I cook up something really nice. I'm into the Asian cuisine ... but if it's a big meal, it will be at lunchtime with chicken and lots of vegies.
Hmm, Doris is more the cook. She's great! I'll eat anything she makes.
I've probably cooked one meal in my life ... I like seafood though, with lemon and ginger.
Simmone Jade Mackinnon:
My speciality is spag bolognaise. I add wine and honey and it's a really yummy recipe. Barbies at my place are awesome, too.
I cook everything! I would rather spend time in the kitchen than anywhere else. Onion and garlic in a pan is the best smell you can have. No matter what time I'm on set shooting, I like to cook a great meal when I get home. It might just be a steak sandwich, but it'll have caramelised onions and butter melted over the meat. I love fried rice where you cook the rice the day before and marinate the chicken or beef overnight. I love experimenting, and Matt Passmore, who I share a house with, will try anything. If it doesn't work, we get a pizza.
Do you have a winter favourite?
I love a rabbit stew. I love having it sit in a pot on the stove for a long time with the smell permeating throught the house. I'm a soup person, too, as I had it often as a kid. Mum would make a chicken and vegetable soup if any of us were sick, Lebanese style with parsley and garlic. We use so much garlic it's frightening! I'm slowly introducing that to the cast with my garlic sauces, and it's great when you get the flu. Luke just loves my hummus.
Doris hasn't made the hummus in a while - she's in the bad books! It's the best hummus I've ever tasted. My favourites to cook are roasts and stews, chicken and corn soup, and a pea and ham soup. And I love barbecue.
It's my Scottish heritage coming out. I'd do a big lamb roast.
As long as it's with friends, I'll have anything.
I love cheese and biscuits - and chocolate. I try not to eat too much of it before bed. You dream more vividly the later you eat.
I cook up a soup for myself and my brother, who lives with me, and the dogs. Bacon bone soup is my favourite. I'll do a big one on a Sunday night and it lasts all week so you can have it after a cold day outside.
What style of host are you?
I love entertaining at night and going right through and not worrying about the dishes until the morning. I hate dinner parties where the host clears the table straightaway. It's a European thing, I like the mess of eating. If people want to keep eating a main course through dessert, that's fine.
I'm getting better. As I'm getting older I'm more homey, with my garden and my dogs. I tried the herbs in the half wine barrels in the garden but I couldn't grow them.
I love entertaining. I get together with five friends every Monday night for a cook-off. We've had terrible nights but that's all part of it. I love cooking for a big group rather than for one. I find it relaxing and energising at the same time.
Are you a messy cook?
Oh, how I use seven pots for one dish, I don't know! The whole kitchen turns into a mess and the floor turns a different colour. My husband can't understand it. I never do anything by measurement either, I taste the whole way through.
As I live on my own, you make the same amount of mess for one as you would for four or five, so I think I'm destined to have a big family as I'm only ever good at cooking for four or more people. But Doris and I couldn't work in a kitchen together. I'm very neat. I put things away and clean as I go.
How did you learn to cook?
It came because we had to take care of ourselves as kids. Mum was busy and Dad was working. I've always been around food. When the Lebanese get together and cook, you're talking 30 aunts baking at Easter, Christmas and other celebrations. I've got all my mum Odette's recipes, too. She's in the early stages of dementia so unfortunately she's unable to remember them, so the whole family comes to me. For me that's more precious than anything because we shared so many cooking memories with my mum.
With Dad and my brothers, we grew up with meat and three veg. For me, I've always loved cooking, and my nan's a great cook. I got the chance to work in a professional kitchen one night and from there I saw how things were made and I thought, "I can do that". When I finish with McLeod's I'll start an apprenticeship, but that'll be a few years away.
Do you hope to be cooking for your own children one day?
I met my husband late in life. We married eight years ago. I want to travel the world. Because I was raised with so many siblings and was always babysitting I have this thing about wanting my own private life ... I'm selfish - I couldn't do this job unless I was devoted to it and I married someone who understands my devotion to it.
I certainly have the urge. It would be nice to have that. Like I said, I'm not a good cook for one. And I love pottering around my house. I'm a bit of a nanna.
How is life based in Adelaide away from family and friends?
It's turned out to be a joy for me. I like my time alone.
My opinion of this place has stepped up a notch since I found a pub that shows the rugby league every week. My liver's having a word to me about it, but I'm quite happy. Luke and I get along really well and I'll definitely be here for Series 8 [of McLeod's].
I love that you can sit out here on the balcony and see the sun setting and you just go, "Oh my God, this is where I've come to work." There's a great serenity and a chaos at the same time.
I live away from the city, so Michala or Luke and Matt's place places are always open to crash at if we've had a big night out. And Abi and Michala have stayed at my place when we've had a night out at the Barossa.
I'm planning to buy a house here. I love it and I've made some great friends.
How close are you all
I'm one of the girls now. Dustin practically lives at my house, he's there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I even had his parents around for dinner ... I'm aleays cooking something and my husband Bill and I like having people eat with us. I've got Michala up the road, too, and she pops in and out. I organised a McLeod's Series 6 wrap party. We had lamb on spits, vegetarian things, there was a gell of a lot of food.
Since Doris joined the cast she and her husband have been really supportive of me and we get along well. We're all in the same situation of being interstate away from our loved ones, so it makes us closer than a normal cast. In some ways it's great and others not, like any kind of family. Simmone and I have a great friendship and the boys are fun.
It's nice to have people. who look out for you. When we're at work we have a fantastic time. I feel lucky in that respect, that we all get along. Doris and I have a bit of history from Heartbreak High.
What is a McLeod's Daughters cast lunch conversation like?
Try and shut us up! Once we start we can go for hours. We have a lot of the same passions and interests.
It's often about work and normal stuff like relationships and life. They've seen me at my worst and my best. Most of the time we're on set we get naughty and silly. We're always cracking jokes and giggling during a major dramatic scene.
The lunchtime table is always a myriad of interesting conversations. We can sit there and have an hour-long conversations about Tupperware one day then talk politics another day.
The girls talk about boys and boys talk about girls. If someone's in a crisis everyone will go into crisis mode, too. Zoe Naylor was great for me last year. She came out and stayed with me. They're all really good if soneone's sad or something.
Would you like the boys to cook for you one day?
Absolutely! Luke and Matt live together and I believe they plan on having a Tupperware party shortly, whish is mildly disturbing. Matt has a bit of an obsession with Tupperware. I think the menu will be beer, then food like chips.
I love Tupperware! It's the best thing ever invented. We get catered for on set so I take some hime. It makes meals so easy.
Your most memorable meal?
I was in Mykonos, in Greece. My husband got a tattoo from the guy who did one for David Beckham, and to thank him I cooked him a Lebanese banquet and we had it in the tattoo parlour. Suddenly all these people from different cultures turned up an dI'd cooked more than enough, as usual. We couldn't understand each other so we were speaking through food.
When I was a kid we used to go to my nanna's house for my birthday and have jelly. We could have green or red and I always picked red, but one year I got to have both. It would never set fast enough for me, I'd always go check the fridge every hour.
Always the bangers and mash. I was raised on it.
Mum's chicken enchiladas were always good. I don't get to tast her cooking as often as I'd like to these days.
For me a good meal is good company. Someone could be a cr** cook but it could be the best night in the world. The best ones I've had have been all about those who are there, not what we ate.
Mum wasn't a fancy cook but at Christmas we were up at Coffs Harbour in NSW, so we'd have seafood and that was a treat ... we didn't have a lot of money.
I once had lamb's brains in a restaurant in Mount Perisher in NSW and it was beautiful. My dad and I like to try everything.
What are your winter plans?
McLeod's will be on a break so I'll be spending it in Greece to enjoy the sun. It gets down to minus-four out here on set, you can't breathe sometimes it's so cold.
I don't have a wetsuit warm enough for the cold waters down here but I'm in the process of getting my scuba license, so I might go somewhere to do that. I'll be at the pub watching rugby league, too, in between flying back and forth to Sydney [to see girlfriend Rachael].
I want to go to Africa in June or July. A safari is the one thing I've always wanted to do.
TRANSCRIPT INTERVIEW CHANNEL 9
My name is Matt Passmore and I play Marcus ... Turner ... On the ... show.
Tell us about yourself and the TV work you've done in the past.
I was a late starter in the business. I .. entered the army first. (laughs in a funny way) And then (laughs), and then became an artist ahm, and so I went to NIDA ... and I've sort of done shows like always greener and blue heelers and I've done playschool ever since I came out of NIDA. And ah recently, before this show I did last man standing which is an absolute bull. And now I'm on McLeod's. ... But not as a new daughter. so.
what was it like being a presenter on play school?
Play school is an absolute bull. I was and still am a presenter ahm .. I probably do some more during the break that we have with McLeod's. Ahm .. it's great you just get to be a big kid and laugh around and roll on ... on ... around on the ground and, and ...... flipflop, wigwag, you butt off and ah yeah... and the contestants are amazing. The contestants are the best experience. 400 kids screaming at you to flipflop harder. It's great.
Are any of the McLeod's cast actually tiny, but look big on screen?
I don't think so. I think, maybe egos appear bigger on screen, but they're really not. (laughs) We're all very, we're very humble and we know our place in society. So no, I don't think certainly no one's head's bigger, which is great. I mean it's still like a messy family here, we're all having a bull.
Are you single?
Oh (he waves a fly out of his face) am I single... ahm ... ah, no, not at the moment. I've just met someone and it's great and I'm very happy.
What's the best scene you've filmed so far?
There, there was an episode where Marcus and Alex ahm are very competitive and they, they roar off on their, ahm on their motorbikes and more or less just gun it up and down the countryside. Ahm and that was the best. I love motorbikes, and so we had an absolute bull and I was paid to do something that was really, really fun, so ahm yeah I think that was a great episode, because it showed two boys being competitive and stupid and ahm I think that's close to the truth and we really meant it to be. (laughs)
How did that end up?
It ended up in a really tragic accident. Both guys absolutely screwed up their knees and anchles and ahm and we had to ride doubles to get back and we had to work together. But there was a lot of spooning going on, on the bike and ahm we got to know each other really well and ahm I think that comes across onscreen. (smiles)
Who is your favourite cast member to work with?
Most of the stuff I've done has been with aaron. And ahm I, I just think he's a top bloke. He's an absolute goofball and he is a really genuinely beautiful man. I mean that in a very masculine sense. And ahm we've just had a bull together. I think we work really well together and ahm he's, he's certainly taken me under m.. under his wing, when I came on. And ahm yeah, I think we've got a great relationship onscreen. And probably Abi Tucker, who's just come on, I think is, is (a car passes by behind him) ... we get on really well and I think it's just a, a, a great ahm greatworking experience, working with her. She's a (nupag???) which is fantastic. (smiles)
What are some of the differences with this show as opposed to other shows you've done?
Probably the main difference is ahm (he points to the landscape behind him) ... all that (laughs). It's just beautiful. When they tell you to look over a beautiful sunset you're not just looking into a blue screen like in a studio. Th..it's.. right there. It's ahm, it's gorgeous. The countryside is gorgous. Ahm and.... (waves another fly away and reveales folded up sunglasses sticked to his fingers of his left hand) I think, I think the ah McLeod's cast and crew are just one big family. And I think that ahm I think that really comes during the show and brings that, you know, real ensemble to the screen and makes for a really, really nice working environment. yeah.
THE WHO MAGAZINE INTERVIEW
What makes a person beautiful?
Someone who lives in their own skin and isn't trying to be anything they're not. (The irony of being an 'actor' is not lost on me.)
What's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?
My niece at 3 weeks old... and the Broncos winning the Grand Final.
Have you ever seen beauty somewhere unexpected?
Being a Queenslander, I never believed all that crap about snowflakes being unique and one of a kind... then one landed on me — enough said!
Do you ever use a 'beauty' product or treatment?
Nivea is a man's best friend and doesn't feel too metrosexual.
Whom do you consider beautiful?
Wally Lewis... who knew bald could look that good? Oh and Audrey Hepburn scrubbed up alright too.
What's the most beautiful place in the world to you?
The beach at sunset... whether it be on the Gold Coast, Coogee or Borneo. Pure magic.
Who is the most beautiful person in your life at the moment? And when are they at their most beautiful?
My Yamaha YZF-R6—the moment we saw each other in the showroom... we knew it would be forever.
Describe a beautiful moment.
A moment that startles you... where you'd give anything to make the moment in time last forever, like the Broncos winning the Grand Final.
Who is the first person you ever thought was beautiful?
Melinda Hamilton in Year 1. Every boy wanted to hold her hand but I was too shy.
A FRESH START FOR MATT
Matt, you've been busy the past few years. It seems as though you've been in practically every Australian TV drama!
M: I have! It's been a blessing and a curse. With all those shows not lasting very long, I've never really been associated with any one show. I've been able to move on fairly easily, but I just want to be on a show that's not axed!
How long have you been acting professionally now?
M: I was a professional actor for a year before NIDA so that's six years or so? I was a late starter.
You were in the army, weren't you?
M: Yeah, I was.
That's a bit different to acting. Did you ever do any active duty?
M: No, I was just training. But pretty soon after I got out, a lot of guys were posted to East Timor A lot of my mates went over there.
Are you glad now that you got out when you did?
M: I didn't go into the army to fight for my country. I just wanted some life experience. It was an excuse to get out of suburban Brisbane. Three years down the track, when they gave us the opportunity to leave, I was like, "You beauty, done that!"
You'v really crammed a lot into the past 10 years...
M: Yeah, I like to live life.
Tell me, do you see yourself sticking around in Adelaide for a few years, since McLeod's Daughters isn't going anywhere?
M: My guess is I'll definitely be on the show for a while - so it will be a couple of years at least. Obviously, you make decisions as you go along, but I do think I'll be here for a while.
What about your girlfriend Rachael? She's left the show and is livinf in LA now, isn't she?
M: Yes, she's in the States.
We hear she's shooting a TV pilot there - is she enjoying the experience?
M: It's a fantastic opportunity and she knows that being able to skip over many years of hard work is great. Most people nut it out for years to get this sort of opportunity. It's great and she's just lapping it up.
Would you like to go there, too? If things ge well with Rachael's pilot, it could mean you're seperated indefinitely. Could a move overseas be on the cards?
M: well, the show she's working on, who knows whether that will go ahead? But my American manager is really trying to get me over there, so it's something I'll keep thinking about. My dream has always been to tell Aussie stories non-stop for the rest of my life, but that's becomng a bit of a pipedream. We all need to pay the bills, pay the rent and keep our girlfriends in nice things.
THE REAL MCLEOD
They're all hunky, but just how country are the male stars of McLeod's? We asked them all - including newbie Matt Passmore - a few questions to find out who's a genuine McLeod's bloke and who's just pretending.
(Here's Matt's part...)
Do you have your own Akubra, Driza-Bone or RM Williams boots?
M: I have RM Williams boots. And I used to have my old Akruba from the army.
Do you drive a ute or a four-wheel drive?
M: I don't have a car at the moment, but no, I don't think I've ever owned a ute or a four-wheel drive.
Do you own a cattel dog or sheepdog?
M: No, I used to have a cat.
Do you have any country music CDs?
M: I got given a CD by what's-his-name, the one who married Nicole Kidman. Keith Urban!