If you don't ask, you don't get.
This is something I've always said to my kids. Of course, it backfired because they keep asking me for money, but when I have followed my own advice it has been positive, as it is also what Michala Banas said when I embraced my inner shameless bogan and asked her to take part in my light-hearted interview series.
I have been a fan of Michala's work since first noticing her in the Australian TV series Something In The Air and Always Greener (I loved that show, was terribly disappointed it didn't go for longer) but she already had a long list of credits to her name. I may have also pointed at the screen and yelled her name when I spotted her in the Scooby-Doo movie, but I can't remember if that occurred at home when watching the video with the kids or, more embarrassingly, in a packed movie theatre. Knowing me, it was the latter.
Among other things, Michala then went on to star in a favourite show of many, McLeod's Daughters, had a stint in Neighbours, and more recently made Tiffany Turner the woman we loved to hate in Winners & Losers. Having said that, Michala's great acting gave Tiffany heart and vulnerability, so I found it hard to hate her, and instead felt sorry for her. (I know, I'm almost 49 and I have feelings for fictional characters, I admit it. Is there a support group for me? I assume it would be full of Offspring fans...)
Michala's newest show has taken Australia by storm, just two episodes into the series, because Upper Middle Bogan is pure Aussie gold. I missed the first episode but noticed the social media buzz and knew I had to catch up immediately. I snort-laughed constantly, to the point of tears, and the second episode, which I most certainly did NOT miss, lived up to the first.
Michala plays Amber Wheeler, a burping ("I can't help it, I've got fucking reflux"), swearing ("Get off, ya fuckin idiot, fuckin hell, you're such a dickhead"), name-calling ("She's our sister, ya cock-knock") outer suburbs bogan from a drag racing family. I LOVE her. She's blunt and somewhat lacking in society's perception of 'class', but Michala and the brilliant writers have combined to give Amber a warmth and strong sense of family loyalty we might not expect from your stereotypical potty-mouthed bogan.
The impressive talent of Michala doesn't only extend to TV and movies; she has co-hosted a radio show, toured in a stage musical, and is a bloody good singer. I have been wondering if there is anything Michala can't do. So I was keen to check out her answer to one of my requests....Read on.
Finish These Sentences
My first words were… "What's that?.."
My first words should have been… Something cuter, but I guess I was curious.
My last words will probably be… "What's that?.."
When I was an innocent child I thought… The lyrics to Toto's song Africa were: "There's nothing that a hundred men on mars could ever do..."
My teachers probably remember me as… The one who was always talking and mucking around. Apart from my drama teacher. She'd probably remember me as one of her most diligent (also known as good at talking and mucking around) students.
I’ve always wished… When the time is 11:11. But then idiots on twitter started tweeting "11:11 make a wish!" and it put me off.
If I could swap hairstyles with someone for a day, I would choose… Beyonce's luscious blonde locks. Provided I could also borrow her face, body and overall hotness as well.
I almost peed my pants when... The 8000 horsepower drag racing car took off right next to me during the filming of Upper Middle Bogan. It was intense! Apparently I lifted off the ground.
The most memorable laugh I got was… From my friends very posh mum when she heard me swear profusely on stage.
If I had George Clooney’s phone number… I'd ring him. But then I'd probably nervously hang up before he answered.
The weirdest thing I’ve done for my work/art/partner (pick one) is… Fondle a sheeps testicles. Apparently my character in McLeods Daughters was assisting the vet in checking the sheep for some kind of illness (I can't remember what). I still slightly suspect the director was pulling a prank on me.
One moment I’d like to forget is… Fondling a sheeps testicles. On camera. Not a high point of my career.
I cannot leave home without… Closing my front door. It's a habit I've had for years.
I’m embarrassed that I don’t know how to… Swim properly. Growing up in Wellington, New Zealand wasn't the ideal environment for taking a dip, so I never really learnt. I'll be sure to get something more decent than the doggy-paddle under my belt for when I have kids.
The personality trait most useful in my life is… The ability to laugh at myself. I require it regularly.
My favourite Muppet is… Probably Pepe the king prawn. Although I do love Statler and Waldorf.
In the movie of my life story, I would be played by… Someone far more talented than me, I hope.
When in doubt… Ask your Dad.
Leggings as pants. Discuss. Hmmm. Each to their own, but if you do decide to wear leggings as pants, PLEASE, FOR GODS SAKE, make sure they aren't see- through!!!! Even if you've got a great butt, it is NOT a good look.
Thank you SO much for playing, Michala, you're a lovely person and a good sport xx
Aussies can watch Upper Middle Bogan on ABCTV, Thursday nights at 8.30pm.
And if you have missed it so far, you can catch up on ABC iview.
Oh yeah, language warning, blah fucking blah.
Oh yeah, language warning, blah fucking blah.