Interview with Tosh Greenslade

Just who is Tosh Greenslade? Apart from seeing him play some great characters on Mad As Hell, and knowing he wasn’t related to Francis, he was an enigma to us all. Then I got to talk to him, after a taping of Mad As Hell, and it turns out he is just a big a fan of Shaun’s as we are! And very modest.

(And he agreed to have that photo posted!)

Me: There’s been a lot of interest on the website to learn more about you. (Tosh looks incredulous) I guess because everyone is familar with Francis, Roz and the rest of the cast, but you’re a new face. How did you become involved in Mad As Hell?

Tosh: Basically, Francis directed a show that I did at drama school about 4 years ago. At the time, I was like “awww it’s Francis”, because I’d never met him before. And then, last year in December I got a call from the production people, and they were like “Shaun Micallef want’s you to audition for his show.” I was at a call centre, at my job, and I had to pretend on the phone to everybody that I wasn’t pissing myself. And then, I auditioned for it. I hadn’t seen Francis really, except briefly (since the show). And he kindly recommended me for an audition!

Wow, fantastic. So you came in and did an audition…

Yes, that’s it. And then I went to America, and spent all my time there being like “I hope I got it… maybe I didn’t get it.” Then it got to April, and I was like, I can pretty much guarantee I haven’t got this – I’m going to work in a call centre the rest of my life. And then they called me, and said “Tosh, Shaun wants you to be in the show.” I was like *uurghn*, and then I was in the show!

How have you enjoyed working on the show, the format and the different characters?

Well, it’s pretty rediculous being able to work on the show. I know of (this website) because I’m a fan of Shaun myself.

I wish I had any talent to work with Shaun!

I mean, look at me, I’m working on Shaun’s show – it can happen to anybody. Most of the stuff I’d done previously, I’d done almost entirely theatre. It’s something where I work very much from a character perspective, and a lot of actors are entirely method and prefer to find realism in their characters. I’m usually like, “if I do a voice, thats a character isn’t it?” So it (the show) plays to my strengths, I think. Even if that’s not a lot…

So you enjoy the characters where you can work with them a little bit, but they might not be fully developed?

Yeah, I think the shortness of each scene and the chopping between scenes (works for me).

Lucy from the website wanted to know what your background is?

As an actor or a human being?

I guess as an actor. I mean, you’d been in theatre before?

Not paid – not of any profile! (laughs) I always wanted to be actor ever since I was 15 or 16 years old, and then I went to University and thought I should probably do something to fall back on. I did half of a science degree, and didn’t go to any classes and failed out of it. I failed a few semesters, and it got to the point where I thought, “they’ve let me in a lot of times, I really should do something else because they’re going to kick me out this time.” And then my friend said “go to drama school”, and so I did and I got out 2 years ago. It’s mainly been theatre shows and stuff with friends. Mainly indie-theatre. I haven’t been acting outside of drama school, in the public sphere for the that long, two years at most.

So this is your first…. ?

Yeah, this is my first job. It’s basically like if you left high school and got to be an Astronaut, or what ever you wanted to be when you were a child. “Here, let your first job be your dream job – enjoy that!” It’s rediculous, it doesn’t make any sense. Right up until we actually started filming, I thought it was a horrible, horrible joke that was going to end up with me being hit with a stick. It’s rediculously good.

You end up playing a lot of the characters in suits, trying to debunk theories….

Basically, all I do is I come in, I learn my lines… not always – as evidenced (on this website)! (Tosh breaks into laughter)

You had the most scientific lines possible, so I did preface that they were quite difficult.

Nah, I was just shit at them. I come in, get my clothes on, which is usually a suit. Then they do something with my hair, or put a wig on. And then I just do it straight, and the material is such that I don’t really have to do anything at all. It’s the easiest job I’ve ever done. If there is room to create a character, I will try to do a little bit of character stuff, but it’s almost entirely in the material. When I get the scripts, I read it and you can tell “that’s funny, Shaun’s written that” – it feels like something that Shaun’s written, and you know just straight away from the words. You read the rhythms of it.

You can tell when Shaun’s written something as opposed to one of the other writers?

To an extent. I probably can’t tell so much between Shaun and Gary, just because I’ve grown up watching Full Frontal or The Micallef P(r)ogram(me) where they write together. I’m starting to pick between them, and starting to feel the little differences. When I say, “that’s a Micallef script” – I mean that’s Shaun’s team, it’s that style. If you play it completely straight, the comedy just comes out of it. You don’t need to do anything with it. And when you try and do things to it, when you try and put a funny voice on it or put a funny character on, it wrecks it because it hides all the material. Basically I’m a prop that breathes.

You’re way too modest! It’s been fantastic.

The show’s very fantastic. I really like the show. I watch it myself, and I don’t like my own stuff.

Are you someone who would fast forward your own bits?

No, I’m somebody who would watch my own bits intently and say “that’s terrible.” Not self analyse, just beat myself up by watching my own performances. I go online a lot, and I look for people who don’t like my performances, and it’s very hard to find them. I’ve only found one, and I dwell on that. I’m getting it tatooed on my face.

You’re terrible. What thing have you done so far that you’ve enjoyed the most?

There’s some things coming up (in the final episode) that are really fun. And blowing up the van (in the 9th episode) – you didn’t see how big it was on the film, because it was shot from above. The fireball was massive, it was so good. If you listen to the audio of it, just after it cuts off you can hear me go “awwwww!” I would say Worksafe, but that wasn’t overly fun given that they had to belt my arm to my body, so I couldn’t feel it.It’s all fun. Any day I get to come into work is really fun.

We’re very lucky that’s you’re here doing it. Thanks Tosh!

4 thoughts to “Interview with Tosh Greenslade”

  1. loved reading this; have been wondering where tosh has been hiding up to now (i.e. why we have not seen him before)and now we know. love your work; love the show; let’s hope there is a lot more to come.

  2. I wondered who the actor was who played ‘Grisly Find’ in MAH and many others,and kept thinking to myself when he told Shaun, ‘Jelly is right you are a dreadful root. How would he know that. mmmmmm. I guess the writers hadn’t considered that one.

  3. 16 at a highschool on the mornington peninsula, absolutely love your stuff, there’s a fan club for Casper Jonquil at our school and you’re just so funny, inspiration to drama students everywhere!

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