The megastar and Tourism Australia ambassador traded the madness of Los Angeles for the peace and quiet of Byron Bay – and hasn’t looked back. Interview by Vanessa Lawrence.
What’s your greatest strength?
If I want something, I usually don’t stop until I get it. But that stubbornness is also to my detriment at times because being focused on one thing means you can miss other opportunities.
What scares you?
Boredom. The idea of doing something mundane that I don’t enjoy, day in, day out, scares the hell out of me.
What is the most Australian thing about you?
I’m doing a bunch of interviews this morning and I’ve been spending a lot of time looking over my shoulder at the water, wondering when I can get a surf in – I think that’s the Aussie in me.
What travel experience is on your bucket list?
A place I haven’t spent a lot of time is Western Australia. I’d love to get a 4WD and drive up or down that coast and camp on the beach and fish and surf with my wife [Spanish actress Elsa Pataky] and kids [India Rose, five, and twins Sasha and Tristan, four].
If you could do any other job, what would it be?
When I was a kid, I had a different idea every week. I wanted to be a professional surfer, a firefighter and a policeman… Then I realised I was inspired by characters I’d seen in movies and I thought, “What if I could just pretend to be all those things?”
How do you switch off?
Being at home in Byron Bay [on NSW’s Far North Coast]. When I was living in Los Angeles, you’re constantly reminded about the [film] industry and everyone you meet is somehow involved. So coming back here and being around people in different professions and spending my time on horses and motorbikes is a dream.
Do you have a personal hero?
I have two: my parents. We didn’t have a whole lot of money growing up but my brothers [Luke and Liam] and I never really felt that because our parents worked incredibly hard to give us the best life possible.
If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would you choose?
Bob Marley and Dr Karl [Kruszelnicki]. I’m reading a book of Dr Karl’s at the moment and I feel like I’d be able to learn an incredible amount of weird stuff from him. And Bob would be there to play some great music for us.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I have an incredible sweet tooth. There’s a little frozen-yoghurt place near our house that I love and my kids love. I took them there at 7 o’clock the other night, right before bed, and it sent them off the wall. My wife and I were like, “What were we thinking?”
If you were down to your last $20, what would you spend it on?
The smart answer would be to invest the $20 to try to make it last as long as possible but I’d probably spend it on a roast chicken and a few bread rolls and eat them on the beach before withering away. ￼