Jason Donovan Interview: Stars don’t need to be role models

2014-01-01

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Jason Donovan says stars decide for themselves whether they want to be role models.

Singers including Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have been highly criticised for their provocative behaviour in the past few months, but the 45-year-old actor believes it is up to them whether they want to behave as role models or not.

Jason Donovan Interview: Stars don't need to be role models

He said: ”It’s not for me to make a comment on that, you know, that’s up to the individual and the choices they wanna make … Artists are artists, that’s what they are.”

Jason also suggested it’s the role of a parent to make children aware of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour.

He said: ”I educate my children to make decisions based on the morals that I’ve given them, but what they do with their lives is up to them beyond that.”

The Australian star, who is best known for playing Kylie Minogue’s love interest in the soap ‘Neighbours’ over 20 years ago, also spoke about trusting his children to be safe when using social media.

Jason said: ”I think every parent worries about stuff like that, but where do you draw the line?”

He is one of the hardest working people: “Performing eight shows a week is exhausting but I just love playing this par”.

Now 44, he can look back on a colourful life. Neighbours led to a pop career and a string of hits – including Nothing Can Divide Us, Especially for You, with Kylie Minogue, and Too Many Broken Hearts.

By the 1990s he had turned his attention to musical theatre, accepting the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium in 1991.

Leads in The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd all followed, and even a stint as Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show.

“Working in musical theatre has given me a wonderful life,” he says. “Being on stage, going to lots of interesting places, acting and singing, I love it. But it is also very hard work.”

And, although he is enjoying being on the road and the camaraderie of the company, he is missing his three children Gemma, Zach and Molly.

“It’s difficult to be away from my family. I have a two-year-old, which makes it even harder to leave,” he admits.

“They come and watch when they are able and my wife is really supportive. She was in stage management when we met so she understands the business.

“And hey – it pays the bills. It is called life. We all have to work.

“I do not know many performers who do not have to travel for work to move their career forward. It is what we do. It is all a matter of finding a balance.”

As well as appearing on stage and recording music, Jason also finds time to present a radio show and has appeared in reality TV shows including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! More recently he was on our screens on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, where he came third. He has little time to chill out, but cherishes every minute he can.

“The best form of relaxation is to get out of the buzz and have a glass of wine in the summer, potter around and mow the lawn. Most importantly, it’s wonderful not have a timetable,” he said.

There’s no doubt about it, he’s been at the top of his game both in the music charts and in musical theatre, but Jason still has ambitions.

“I think the best is yet to come from me, there are a few energetic years left in me yet,” he laughed. “The most exciting time, I’m not going to lie, was being a pop star in the late 1980s. It was a crazy time. Now I just enjoy working.

“In our business there’s always a better story to be told and I would like to do more straight TV and film acting. I’d love to spend more time with my family too, that’s what matters to me. You can become bogged down with moving forward and I think we have to enjoy the now.”

Having lived in the UK for many years, he’s been taken on as an adopted Brit.

“Australia will always have a place in my heart and I love to go back on holiday, but I love being in England as that’s where my family are,” he said. “And I get to see a lot of lovely parts of the country when I am on tour. I can’t wait to come to Torbay as it is by the beach, which I love. I just hope we get some sunshine.”

Jason Donovan says stars decide for themselves whether they want to be role models.

Singers including Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have been highly criticised for their provocative behaviour in the past few months, but the 45-year-old actor believes it is up to them whether they want to behave as role models or not.

He said: ”It’s not for me to make a comment on that, you know, that’s up to the individual and the choices they wanna make … Artists are artists, that’s what they are.”

Jason also suggested it’s the role of a parent to make children aware of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour.

He said: ”I educate my children to make decisions based on the morals that I’ve given them, but what they do with their lives is up to them beyond that.”

The Australian star, who is best known for playing Kylie Minogue’s love interest in the soap ‘Neighbours’ over 20 years ago, also spoke about trusting his children to be safe when using social media.

Jason said: ”I think every parent worries about stuff like that, but where do you draw the line?”

He is one of the hardest working people: “Performing eight shows a week is exhausting but I just love playing this par”.

Now 44, he can look back on a colourful life. Neighbours led to a pop career and a string of hits – including Nothing Can Divide Us, Especially for You, with Kylie Minogue, and Too Many Broken Hearts.

By the 1990s he had turned his attention to musical theatre, accepting the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium in 1991.

Leads in The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd all followed, and even a stint as Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show.

“Working in musical theatre has given me a wonderful life,” he says. “Being on stage, going to lots of interesting places, acting and singing, I love it. But it is also very hard work.”

And, although he is enjoying being on the road and the camaraderie of the company, he is missing his three children Gemma, Zach and Molly.

“It’s difficult to be away from my family. I have a two-year-old, which makes it even harder to leave,” he admits.

“They come and watch when they are able and my wife is really supportive. She was in stage management when we met so she understands the business.

“And hey – it pays the bills. It is called life. We all have to work.

“I do not know many performers who do not have to travel for work to move their career forward. It is what we do. It is all a matter of finding a balance.”

As well as appearing on stage and recording music, Jason also finds time to present a radio show and has appeared in reality TV shows including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! More recently he was on our screens on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, where he came third. He has little time to chill out, but cherishes every minute he can.

“The best form of relaxation is to get out of the buzz and have a glass of wine in the summer, potter around and mow the lawn. Most importantly, it’s wonderful not have a timetable,” he said.

There’s no doubt about it, he’s been at the top of his game both in the music charts and in musical theatre, but Jason still has ambitions.

“I think the best is yet to come from me, there are a few energetic years left in me yet,” he laughed. “The most exciting time, I’m not going to lie, was being a pop star in the late 1980s. It was a crazy time. Now I just enjoy working.

“In our business there’s always a better story to be told and I would like to do more straight TV and film acting. I’d love to spend more time with my family too, that’s what matters to me. You can become bogged down with moving forward and I think we have to enjoy the now.”

Having lived in the UK for many years, he’s been taken on as an adopted Brit.

“Australia will always have a place in my heart and I love to go back on holiday, but I love being in England as that’s where my family are,” he said. “And I get to see a lot of lovely parts of the country when I am on tour. I can’t wait to come to Torbay as it is by the beach, which I love. I just hope we get some sunshine.”

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