Catching up with Tim Minchin


Tim Minchin is a comedian, actor, composer, songwriter, pianist, musical director and huge rock ’n’ roll megastar (the last bit is his). Now, this is what you don’t know.

What is your greatest strength? 
I like people and think I'm quite good at understanding them.

What is your greatest weakness?
I’m unable to give short answers. This one, for example, could have finished at the end of the last sentence but instead continues on, apparently unconcerned by the absence of purpose or meaningful content. 

What scares you?
The acceleration of perceived time as we age, the speed at which my children are growing up and the potential death or injury of people I like.

What’s your favourite karaoke song?
“I Will Survive”.

What virtue do you admire most in people?
Generosity – of spirit, finance, time.

If you could do any other job, what would it be?
I’d teach.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?
I’m lifestyle conservative. I like to be up and working early in the morning, I sleep normal hours, I’ve never taken any illicit drugs and I’m married to my first girlfriend.

What’s your idea of absolute happiness?
Post-coital afternoon naps. Can I say that?

If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would you choose?
I know it’s nauseating but I’ve managed to weasel my way into drinking/eating situations with nearly all the people I most admire. I recently had a very pleasant dinner with Ian McEwan and Zadie Smith. How cool is that?

What travel experiences remain on your bucket list?
I’ve not travelled much so most of them are still on the list. Paros, Kakadu, Tokyo.

What’s your most treasured possession?
My back-up hard drive. 

How do you switch off?
By drinking gently or exercising hard.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Ha! I have a whole bit of stand-up about this question, most of it unprintable. So I’ll just say… wine.

What quality do you most admire in people?
I admire people who can think clearly, alter opinions and smile generously.

If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?
Even the tiniest adjustment of any decision or action would fundamentally alter all that happens after it – so although I would wish to alter absolutely nothing, I would inevitably alter absolutely everything.

What is your greatest achievement?
I’m proud that I got quite good at the piano without much guidance. 

Who is your personal hero?
I don’t think I have one. Expecting humans to be heroes ends in disappointment. 

Where would we find you at a party?
Talking too much around a table.

What’s your most Australian trait?
My inability to respect authority figures who expect respect without earning it.

If you were an animal what would you be?
I would be a hairy, ginger man. 

If you were down to your last $20, what would you spend it on?
Bread, cheese, very cheap wine.

How would you like to be remembered?
As kind.  

Tim Minchin wrote the music and lyrics for ‘Matila the Musical, which is currently playing at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre.



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