Michael Falzon appears in Sydney as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Metro, November 18. He submitted to a question and answer session for StageNoise
StageNoise: Tell us about Hedwig
Michael: She's a little fucked up, poor thing. She grew up in a loveless family (as a boy!) in East Berlin before the fall of the Wall, and has been on a quest ever since to find her other half. She's brash, funny, hard and sad.
Q: How is your angry inch?
A: There are actually two in the show – my inch (took me some time to find it) which is fine thanks!The other “Angry Inch” is the name of my band. Led by Tina Harris, they entirely rock.
Q: Do you mind being a sex symbol?
A: What, me or Hedwig?? Either way I don't feel like one, especially in this latest show. However, to be honest I can't pretend I would mind if I were. Hmm, I think you have to have a six-pack though,don't you?
Q: You’ve said you have had to get in touch with your feminine side for Hedwig. Who is she and where did she come from?
A: Finding my femininity was aided over the years by being a bit “metro”, growing up with three sisters, and performing in a couple of G&S musicals and Hello Dolly!Hedwig had a relatively short rehearsal period and so Kelley Abbey (choreographer) showed me a few tricks on how a woman thinks and presents herself. Faaaaabulous!
Q: What’s your position on waxing?
A: Well, I'm not hairy -– naturally smooth chest – so I've never really had to do the waxing thing. My position I guess is that I'm a definite fan of it on other people ;-)
Q: I’ve been told your James Bond show is fantastic, would you tell us about it?
A: OOH James! took a year to develop through my company SMA Productions. We launched it to the special events market in 2007 to to coincide with the new Bond flick. Essentially, its a parody on the different 007 eras, showcasing Bond songs from Duran Duran to John Barry and Tom Jones – three guys taking the piss, singing very loud and very high! It has especially gone well through our company in the UK. Go figure.
Q: Which is your favourite Bond: Connery, Brosnan, Dalton, Moore, Craig or Lazenby? And why or why not?
A: Haven't seen the new one yet but I really like Daniel Craig. A grittier, dirtier Bond. Though, you gotta love all the old one-liners of the Connery and Moore films – “No Mr Bond, I expect you to die!”
Q: A bit of biography: when did you start performing?
A: I started in Brissy in around '92 (I think) in an eight-part vocal group called VocalPoint. We did a lot of close harmony – Manhattan Transfer, gospel etc – at many events and in cabaret around Australasia. It was through those gigs I met Simon Gallaher and he invited me to audition for my first musical The Pirates of Penzance, in which Jon English mercilessly took the piss out of me – I was the “pretty” pirate, third from the right.
Q: What’s your family background, where did you go to school?
A: My father came to Sydney from Malta at age six. My mother, I think had links back to the First Fleet. I grew up in Bass Hill and Ambarvale before I moved with my family to Brisbane where I spent many of my high school years. I had a mostly private school education though my teens were spent up the road from our house at Kelvin Grove S.H.S. as it had a tremendous drama department.
Q: Were you a good boy or a mucker up?
A: Definitely a mucker-upperer! A friend and I once got in trouble for demolishing an old piano and hiding its pieces throughout the backstage area of the school hall. I was also dubbed the “Extension King” by friends and teachers alike as I never handed ANYTHING in on time. I later deferred from studying English and Psychology at University of Queensland: they're still waiting.
Q: First kiss was:
A: Pecks, I'm sure don't count, but the one I really remember was Toni-Maree, grade 7, behind the sheds. Nothing else ever happened!
Q: If you’re cooking, what do you cook? (Do you cook?)
A: I LOVE pasta,. so I don't cook much for fear of getting fat. I'm actually a bit of a snacker, a salad here, a piece of fish there, but nothing too elaborate.
Q: Are you domesticated?
A: Um, in what way?? Yes, I put the toilet seat down, even when I'm by myself. I make my bed (almost) daily and love to neatly organise my clutter;-)
Q: Any stain removing tips you’d like to pass on?
A: There is a great drycleaner in Bronte on the corner of Murray and Belgrave Streets.Ask for Elly and tell them Michael sent you!
Q: Did you always want to sing and perform?
A: I don't know, I just always have. Like most kids I used to put on little shows at home and make videos and tapes. I guess I never stopped.
Q: If you did something else what would it be?
A: Well, I have my production companies in Sydney and London and so when I'm not performing I work pretty hard in those businesses. It's actually quite nice to have a break from each from time to time to do the other. So if I weren't performing, I'd be employing performers!
Q: Who are your heroes/heroines?
A: “Hero” is quite a hard badge to bestow but I reckon I've been very fortunate to work with a couple of my musical heroes in Queen and Jeff Wayne. My mum was my heroine (and continues to be even ten years since her death), as are my sisters.
Q: Are you superstitious?
A: Nup. Not at all.
Q: What do you believe in?
A: Suddenly gotten deep, haven't we? I believe that nobody does it for you; any achievement is made through one's own work – “It wasn't meant to be” doesn't cut it for me, or you can just go on Big Brother or Idol.
Q: What are your goals – personal and professional?
A: Personally, I'd like to take more time out; to travel and chill. Professionally however I'd like to produce more while taking on more challenging roles! Unfortunately a little mutually exclusive.
Q: Would you have voted McCain or Obama?
Q: Why and why not?
A: You have to ask “Why”???