TRCH - Mindgames

Toad on Toad Action

2 February 07 words: Jared Wilson
LeftLion Editor Jared Wilson meets Toadfish Jarrod Rebecki, aka Neighbours actor Ryan Maloney

Toadfish Ryan Maloney on LeftLionOkay, this is probably the most self indulgent interview I’ve ever done and for that I apologise. But when you grow up with a vaguely unusual Christian name (in this country at least) like Jared and then a character comes on a prime-time TV soap called Jarrod Rebecchi (note the different spelling) then you can expect years of abuse. At first I hated it. Then In grew to love it, especially admiring his experimentation with beaver tail mullets. So I set myself a mission to hunt the man responsible down. And Neighbours actor Ryan Maloney seemed surprisingly up for a chat with LeftLion…

So, tell me, what have you been up to today?
Just been to work, shot a few things, and now I’m home. That’s pretty much it – a normal working day.

So this is work as in Neighbours, yeah?

So what are your average hours on set in the day?
Anywhere from one to fourteen, and most likely it’s maybe three or four. It’s really easy, it’s really good. I don’t know why but a lot of actors make out like they work really hard, like they work twelve hour days or something like that… I don’t know, not on our show anyway.

You’ve been in Neighbours since 1995, is that right?
Something like that yeah.

How do you think it’s changed in the ten years you’ve been in the show.
Well how have I changed… I’ve grown up. I’ve gotten older and my personality itself has changed in that, I don’t know maybe I’m not so... I don’t know... maybe I’m not so naïve or something like that. I've kind of grown up in the spotlight and I’m very used to it now. I think I've got a fairly good understanding about what makes people tick. I can’t say I've actually changed because it’s just growing up really. I haven’t changed from one thing to another, it’s just a case of growing up. As far as the show’s changed – it’s got a bit more risqué now. Beforehand the problems were kind of solved over a cup of tea, now it’s solved over a round in court really. There are people blowing things up and holding people hostage on a fairly regular basis. I think it’s got more dangerous to live on Ramsey St.

I know a lot of people in the UK feel like they’ve kind of grown up with your character. How young were you when you started in the show?
I was fifteen years old.

So you’re 26 now?
28 now.

So it was before 1995 then… 1994 or 1993.
Yeah, just before my sixteenth birthday.

What are your plans for the future in actin? Do you plan to stay in Neighbours and keep going and be one of the real legends in the show, which I guess you are already really... I don’t know. Twenty eight is still fairly young. I’d like to think that I can do some work afterwards. I’m really not sure what I’d like to do in terms of acting. Obviously I’d like to come to the UK and see what kind of work I’d get over there. I don’t think I’d get a lot of work in Australia, I think I’d be fairly type-cast. It’s a fairly small industry here in Australia so I’m not too sure whether or not I’d actually get enough work to make a living out of it or anything. So I think I’d probably come over to the UK and see what happens there. Apart from that, just kick back and enjoy life – see what life has to throw me. The thing is, I’ve never actually wanted to be an actor, it’s just something I was doing for fun since I was a little kid. I managed to get myself a pretty damn good job so I don’t see any reason why I should leave it. Its pretty cool - I get paid pretty well to turn up and have a lot of fun and I don’t really work that hard so I don’t see why I should go.

Have you ever watched any English soaps? Have you heard of Eastenders or Coronation St?
Yeah I’ve heard of them. Unfortunately I haven’t actually watched much of it during my time in the UK. Though I have actually seen Eastenders… oh I’m not sure which one - either Eastenders or Coronation St – at Christmas time and someone walked out of the pub and got hit by a car, and it was whether or not they were going to live or die over Christmas. I was like Jesus, that’s pretty depressing isn’t it!

Yeah. One of the things I think a lot of us think is that maybe one of the reasons Neighbours is so popular here is because it’s so upbeat, and lots of our home-grown soaps are just really miserable. Do you think that’s a reflection on the difference in the outlook and quality of life between Australia and the UK?
I’d have to say that seems to be the kind of response I get from the English themselves. Maybe that a question for yourself to answer. There seem to be a lot of English people who really love coming over here, to live and to stay. They come over to have a tour around and then they want to stay. Maybe because we’ve got more warmer weather or anything like that. We’ve got lots of beaches you can go swimming in and things like that. It seems to be a more outdoorsy place than the UK. It could be a reflection. I think a lot of the UK lifestyle revolves around the pub so it seems to be a lot more indoorsy than it is here.

You were in the UK last year – doing a panto over here?
Yeah, I was down in Canterbury.

How did you find that?
I thought it was great fun, I had a great old time. Really good company to work for, and Canterbury’s such a pretty town. All the cast were absolutely lovely and I just had a good time. I missed the summer, and I missed my wife when she wasn’t with me. And I missed a bit of daylight to be honest! But it was a really cool experience and I’d would have loved to have come back again, so hopefully I’ll be there again next year.

What was the pantomime?

Who else was in it with you?
There was Andy Scott-Lee, Sheila Ferguson, Dave Lee who’s a local comic there. Do those guys ring a bell?

Not really to be honest, but I might google them after.
Andy Scott-Lee was on Pop Idol and Sheila Ferguson was in the Three Degrees.

Got you. I think you were obviously the start of that one then.
I think Sheila was. I don’t know, I don’t really care. I had a good time and people came long and they enjoyed what I did, so that’s the main thing. 

How chuffed are you to always get to snog hot women in the show and have you snogged any actresses in real life?
No, I stay away from actors, they’re mental in the head so I stay away from them. As far as snogging hot women on there,.. I prefer to snog my wife, so I think I’ll stick with that.

You mentioned your wife earlier and from what I’ve read she’s from new Zealand isn’t she?
She is, yeah.

And have you just had a baby?
We have, yeah.

Can we ask about your baby? What’s it called?
I’d rather not actually.

That’s fine, understood. Well, congratulations anyway, that’s brilliant. Do you enjoy neighbours cast parties or are they just a pain in the ass?
There are obviously lots of ones where all the cast turns up but to be honest I prefer the ones with the crew, they seem to be a lot more fun. I really do enjoy catching up with the crew. We work with a big bunch of people who are just absolutely fantastic, so I really enjoy those parties, they’re really good fun.

Have there ever been any storylines on Neighbours from the writers that you really didn’t like?
Just trying to think… I don’t know, I think I've forgotten them already! That’s one of the beauties about being on Neighbours is that you just churn through the storylines and then they just pump out. Because of the nature of neighbours and the amount of cast that you have, you’re going to be doing storylines or partaking in storylines that you’re not going to agree with or that you don’t think your character would be doing but at the end of the day, your job is to turn up and do the stories that the writers want you to do. My job is an actor and it really doesn’t matter what they tell me to do. My job is to make it entertaining and I hope that’s what I do.


Jarrod and Jared: which one is which?

One of the moments that people always point out… one of the best loved scenes over here are your infamous wrestling scenes with Connor. I bet they were great fun to do - you looked like you were having fun anyway!
Oh hell yeah, I had so much fun working with Paddy and Blair, it was so good. All that stuff started with Daniel McPherson and Andrew Biddy when we started in that house together. We used to try to make each other laugh throughout the scenes constantly, just kind of do the stupidest thing. And Daniel McPherson always had a habit of laughing, and he’s perfected the art of actually acting while he was laughing, and putting that into his character and all that kind of thing. We’d just be looking at him, trying to make him laugh even more. So that all kind of started there, and Andrew Biddy was great fun to work with, and Paddy and Blair were just as much fun, and we created the same thing again but with those guys. It was a real joy to work with them. I don’t think there’s going to anything like it again actually, for myself anyway.

Are you a wrestling fan in real life?
I actually just watched some wrestling today, some Hulk Hogan Wrestlemania 15 or 16 or something like that, but I haven’t seen it in so long.

So who’s your favourite wrestler?
It used to be the ultimate warrier, he was awesome. And I like the undertaker too.

Another question from someone on the forum. They wonder, how are Stonefish and Tad?
I don’t know actually. I understand that Stonie’s writing scripts and stuff, and he’s hanging out in St Kilda and he’s having a good old time in life – I run into him every now and then. And Jonothan Dutton who played Tad… I don’t know what he’s doing actually. I haven’t spoken to him in a little while, I should actually give him a call. Oh, what’s he doing? He’s doing All Saints. He’s doing another show here, based in Sydney, based around a hospital. He’s working on that.

Another rumour for you to confirm or deny. Apparently you’re a big Glasgow Rangers football club fan? Is that true?

The things you read on the internet, honestly.
No, Are they green? 

If you were a fish, what fish would you be?
I’d like to be a shark, just pretty damn tasty.

Is Dee really dead?
Yes. We’ll say that.

It’s been over a year now hasn’t it…
It’s been a long time.

If you could choose to be a professional lawyer or wrestler in real life which would you be? Got to be a wrestler, absolutely for sure. Lawyer’s boring.

Who do you think would win in a wrestle out of Harold or Lou?
Harold for sure!

Can he really play the tuba in real life?
No, not a chance.

I’m going to mention two names and you just pick one or the other, whichever one’s your favourite. Lou Reed… you know who Lou Reed is? From the Velvet Underground. Or Pete Doherty, don’t know if you know who Pete Doherty is but he’s a rock star in England.
Oh, he’s a smackie isn’t he. I’ll go with Lou Reed, he’s probably a smackie too though isn’t he.

Well, he was, but he was back in the day though.
We’ll go with him.

Batman or superman?
That’s a tough one. Batman’s a real man, Superman had special powers and all that kind of stuff. Do you go with the guy that made the most of all his abilities or do you go with the person that actually had super powers? I reckon Superman.

Ned Kelly or Robin Hood?
Robin Hood.

Brilliant. On the theme of Robin Hood – I’m ringing from Nottingham so Robin Hood is our kind of patron saint…
Oh, ok. Lucky I said that then!

Have you seen all the old films of Robin Hood?
I have, yeah. Well, not all of them!

Who would you say is Erinsborough’s Robin Hood?
Well it’d have to be a cross between Paul Robinsoon and Harold. Because then you’re getting the robbing from the rich and the giving to the poor. 

Do you go for a shaven or a full bush?
What’s that for?

It kind of means on a lady. In a delicate region.
Oh, I don’t want to answer that.

Have you ever got to meet Kylie?
No, unfortunately I haven’t no. She was only on the show for like a year and a half or something before she left. But no, I haven’t had the pleasure of actually meeting her unfortunately.

What about Jason Donovan?
No I haven’t, I’ve met his Dad…

Yes, because his Dad was on the show for quite a while, wasn’t he.
Yes, Doug Willis.

I remember him. What about Annalise? I can’t remember the actress’s name.
Kimberley Davis, yes, I worked with her as well.

I bet that was a big pleasure.
Yeah, she’s a nice lady.

Are you in a band at all? Do you have any singing abilities? Obviously we get a lot of soap stars that cross over to the UK for their music career like Kylie, Jason Donovan, and even Doc Kennedy and Paul Robinson. Are you interested in doing that?
No, I’ll leave the singing for the other people. I won’t get into any of that. Maybe just enough for another panto.

A few more silly ones: Are there any types of fish you could load the tip of a poisoned dart with?
I think a puffa-fish has got some pretty venomous stuff in it. A toadfish in itself has got some fairly venomous stuff in it too.

In a culinary sense, what is the most appetising type of fish or toad?
Fish or toad! I think… a bit of Salmon.

One of our readers wants to know why you got rid of the beaver-tail mullet. People were fascinated by that hairstyle.
Are you for real, man? I looked like a had a dead rat hanging off me.

It was kind of cool though…
For you maybe, not cool for me.

Do you know the character James Bond?

The new film has just come out over here and there’s lots of talk about who should have been the new James Bond. Do you think you’d make a good James Bond?
You think so?

Well, yeah. You’ve definitely got the charm.
Toadfish has a knack with women hasn’t he. And he’s got the wrestling credentials. And he’s smart, he did his law degree in a year and a half.

True. What do you think to Toadies character compared to other on-screen lawyers such as Perry Mason?
I think those other ones are probably – not probably, definitely – more credible.

Its true, you do seem to be the most laid back lawyer ever in terms of going out with your mates…
Toad’s the kind of guy who likes to do his law with his pants off.

Anything else you want to say to our readers?
I hope I keep entertaining you and thank you very much for watching, and thank you very much for the interest you’ve shown in my character.

Neighbours website

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