Erik Thomson really has his hands full. From being a top notch actor in Australian drama 800 Words, he also manages his life as an everyday father of two.
“I’m a 21st century dad with kids under the age of 10, and I’m parenting on a daily basis”, he says. “Ask any father and they’ll tell you that everyday is different – we’re always faced with a problem (just as long as we do our best!)”
Thomson was made associate producer early on in the process. But, how does he balance acting while scouting for luscious New Zealand locations?
“I’ve developed a great short term memory and can learn a few pages of dialogue in 5 minutes! From All Saints to Packed to the Rafters, I don’t need to spend all my spare time working on my script. I make it up as I go along and it seems to work.”
The 50 year old veteran actor gets into the routine of knowing the character he plays and can add words in at the last minute. “I have them deeply engraved”, he says.
In 800 Words, Thomson plays George Turner who has to balance his life as a writer and being the sole parent of two children, following the sudden death of his wife.
“George is forced into a situation where his parenting by himself (and he gets it wrong quite often). But, at the end of the day, he’s always there for his kids and loves them deeply. He doesn’t run a strict household, though that seems to be the way of a 21st century parent”.
The series continues the story in New Zealand, which the Scottish-born Thomson called home for 21 years. So, what could we expect for the upcoming season?
“There’s an issue that needs to be dealt with from Woody’s past where the entire community helps him. We also find out the paternity test results for Jan’s baby.”
Hang on. Take it back, ‘who’ is the father?
“Whatever happens, George will be there for Jan. As my grandmother used to say, ‘babies bring the love with them’. When you hold a baby in your arms, its yours. I think thats what happens with George”.
As a real-life dad, Thomson is always in stitches – and we couldn’t wait to ask for his favourite ‘dad joke’.
‘It’s one that my son reminds me of constantly (and I like it). Why did the toilet paper cross the road? To get to the bottom of the hill! That’s a real dad joke”.