Justin Rosniak: Squint for Macca

July 23, 2019
One of the best things about the ABC TV/Jungle Entertainment production, Squinters, is the ubiquitous character actor (Mr Inbetween, Down Under, Locusts, Les Norton), who returns for Season 2, sharing his daily commute with partner Jess (Justine Clarke).

Do you know many people like Macca? I imagine that they’re a dying breed in today’s politically correct society?

I guess I know people that are similar to Macca, but Macca is quite unique in a number of ways, I think. I mean, somebody with such a structured clockwork towards his daily therapeutic masturbating sessions is kind of running their own race, wouldn’t you say? Something for us all to strive towards, I guess. And yes, a dying breed for the time being until the world has a knee jerk reaction to PC and then god only knows what beast society churns out.

Are you like Macca? If so, which parts?

I think in my life I’ve had certain sides to me that have acted like Macca, like when I’ve been pissed or something and had a fuck the world mentality because of something going terribly wrong in my life (hindsight is a beautiful thing isn’t it, what a dick!). I guess my take on Macca is an extreme version of the disgusting shameless beast that lies within myself. I just do him the way I do him, the writing gets put in front of me and I do my best to put forth options that hopefully work. He’s definitely larger than life.

You must have done a bit of squinting in your time as an actor – did any of those experiences inspire the character? Or, are you the quiet type on commutes?

I’ve always been talkative, still am, but I like to think I’ve become a bit more comfortable with silence and not feeling it’s my responsibility to have to drive a conversation. I listen a lot better than Macca does and I honestly think that most people are a lot more interesting than I am, although my daughters will probably tell you I think otherwise.

 

Did you shoot your bits of the entire series in a very limited time? How was that?

Exhausting, we get the 6 episodes sent to us two weeks before we shoot, it’s a 60 page two hander or thereabouts, half a day’s chat kinda rehearsal, kinda a few days before, throw a few rounds of amendments in there over the two week period and then shoot your whole 6 eps in two days sitting stationary in a studio reacting to simulated travelling in a car whilst on an emotional roller coaster trying to make people laugh, but apart from that, it’s easy…

Did your approach change from Season 1 to Season 2? I imagine working with a new actor [in Season One, Macca shared the commute with Ned played by Steen Raskopoulos] must have made a difference to your approach?

One thing I was very excited about was that Macca was attempting to evolve as a person, the fact that he had finally become aware that high school actually ended over 20 years ago and that it was time to settle down with a human rather than a blow up doll. I wouldn’t have been keen to do another season of the same old Macca, I’m glad Adam [Zwar] instinctively wrote Macca the way he did, and that we see this side of him, where he’s not just trying to look like a tough guy in front of his mates. There’s hope for Macca in this next phase of life.

Had you worked with Justine before? She really goes there, which I thought was impressive. Did she surprise you?

Yes, I think the first time was when I was about 10 years old, we were both doing Home and Away, but we didn’t act together in that. The next time we were in a production was about 20 years later in a short film called The List, but we didn’t share the screen on that job either, and now after all these years, here we are. And no, Justine did not surprise me, I’ve been a fan of her work for many years now and I think she is one of the best in the biz.

Has this show lifted your profile? Do people shout out Macca at you on the street?

I haven’t had any mob-like experiences, but NBL Aussie Boomer Basketball legend Larry Sengstock told me he loved my work as Macca on Squinters, but that’s only after I asked him for his autograph, but still, I reckon that’s pretty cool.

What would Macca say if we asked him why people should watch the show?

I don’t think you’d be allowed to print what Macca would say, which just goes to show that me and him are nothing alike.

Squinters: Season 2 screens at 9pm Wednesdays on ABC TV, and is also available on iview.

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