TV Week Gold Logie Winner and Actor
It was 2001 when 10’s seminal coming-of age drama The Secret Life of Us debuted and Australia was introduced to the affable Samuel Johnson OAM. Many successful television gigs followed, including cop drama Rush and the biopic Molly in 2016. The latter became the highest rating non-sporting program of year for which Samuel won a TV Week Gold Logie award for his portrayal of the iconic Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum. More recently Samuel founded the cancer charity Love Your Sister alongside his late sister Connie, in only five years the foundation has raised over $7 million.
How do you feel about working with a professional dancer during this whole process?
I’m in very good hands. I’m being trained intensively hour upon hour, day upon day, by the best in the business. The thought of dancing in front of friends at a party is too much for me, I’ve never hit a dance floor socially. I’m not that guy, there’s the element of finding the freedom of that with your partner but sharing that with the country, it’s a daunting task.
Do you find there are similarities between acting and dancing?
Actors tell the story through their face and their voice, while dancers tell the story through their bodies and their faces. When you’re robbed through the power of language, true storytelling takes place. I’m looking forward to telling a story without my voice. For someone like me that’s the ultimate challenge.
Why the return to television?
I promised the country that I’d raise $10 million for cancer research, so I want to dance my way there. For me I’m not coming back to television, I’m coming somewhere to dance my way towards this promise that I’ve been trying to fulfill for seven years. I’d do it whether the cameras were there or not.
Was the fitness side of Dancing With The Stars an incentive to take part?It was a huge reason. When I spoke to Grant Denyer he said do it for your body, if nothing else. I’m totally embracing this challenge. I’ve changed my diet, my sleeping habits, body clock, lifestyle. You don’t just rock up do your dance and go home. I’ve surrendered my whole schedule and constantly working on by body, diet and my mental well-being.
What do you think of your dance partner?
I don’t think it’s fair that someone is so talented! Jorja is such an expert, it’s intimidating. Plus, she’s really pretty too which is gross, the whole thing is decidedly unfair and fairly stacked. Jorja is a great teacher and understands that barreling me won’t work and that I’m a softie. I like to work together; this business is all about collaboration.
Love Your Sister is a million-strong village of everyday Aussies committed to vanquishing all cancers with hard science.