University of Tasmania alumnus Luke McGregor has brought his own brand of comedy home, filming his latest TV venture - the buddy comedy Rosehaven – over seven weeks in the state, including the tiny Derwent Valley town of Lachlan and the University’s Sandy Bay campus.
“The weather’s unpredictable, but otherwise it’s great [filming in Tasmania],” he said.
Rosehaven has screened on ABC TV, and McGregor is still pinching himself that this is his life now – writing and rewriting scripts (jokes included), then performing, recording and sharing them with Australia.
“We started with Celia [Pacquola] and I just wanting to do some sort of comedy around our friendship, some sort of buddy comedy where it was us against the world in some way,” he said of Rosehaven.
“My parents are in real estate, and Celia grew up in a small town, so we’ve tried to combine the two.”
The University’s Sandy Bay campus is where it all started for the actor and comedian with his first stand-up gig in 2007.
“Comedy came to me by accident – there was a Raw Comedy final at the uni pub and I was a bit tipsy and someone didn’t show up, and I said ‘Can I get up?’ and they said yes, so that’s how I got into comedy,” he said.
Fast forward to 2016, and McGregor has TV’s awkward redhead comedian niche well and truly covered, following roles in Utopia and his documentary Luke Warm Sex.
“Most of the characters I play tend to be a nervous wreck anyway, so if I had to play a tough love interest, or a bad guy, that would probably test my acting skills, I don’t know if I’d be able to pull it off,” he said.
At one stage, McGregor began looking into a career in medicine.
I think I just wanted to do it because I just liked the idea of being able to have that skill set, and being able to help everyone, he said.
“It’s just a cool skill to have, any sort of medical knowledge. I think in the end I should have just done a first aid course.”
Although he’s now doing his dream job, McGregor said he still has to remind himself sometimes that it won’t be all sunshine and skittles.
I guess the secret is the good outweighs the bad, and that you do really love it in those key moments, he said.
Hobart-based director and fellow alumni Shaun Wilson also contributed to the show, making his long-form television directorial debut in episode 7 of Rosehaven, which aired on 23 November.
This story featured in the University's Open To Talent magazine.