SAM IS BACK!!!!!!!!

Secret Life star's comeback


May 30, 2007 12:00

HE'S been keeping a low profile since the shock death of his girlfriend last year - now Samuel Johnson is back with a splash.

The Secret Life of Us star has landed a plum job hosting a new Lonely Planet travel series called Bluelist Australia, which starts on SBS next week.

Johnson quit his job on Nova FM in Melbourne after his girlfriend Lainie Woodlands committed suicide early last year and has not been seen on the small screen since.

The AFI-award winner was "devastated" by the loss, which was followed by a bitter seven-month legal battle between her mother and father over possession of the 20-year-old's body.

She was eventually laid to rest while the case ended in the High Court in August.

The new project has been a blessing for Johnson, with producer Tony Jackson telling Confidential the Crackerjack star had thrown himself into the job, embracing such tasks as travelling across the country on the Ghan and whitewater rafting at Penrith.

"He was totally stoked," he said. "He's completely goofy and he brought that to the screen.

"We have just had the best time working together . . . silliness has been the key."

The program is being produced in conjunction with Tourism Australia and is based on Lonely Planet's Bluelist Australia website about travel experiences Down Under.

Comic HG Nelson, surfer Barton Lynch and award-winning actress Susie Porter are also expected to pop up as guest presenters.

Johnson was out of mobile phone range yesterday because – in true adventurer style – he was camping "out bush".


Samuel Johnson filming for his new TV show. / The Daily Telegraph


The Sunday Times June 29, 2003: TV EXTRA TV GUIDE 19.06.03 On set of 'Secret Life Of Us' with Samuel Johnson,on location at Catani Gardens, St Kilda, Melbourne. Photo: Jody D'Arcy

Wiki article

Samuel Johnson is an Australian actor.

He is a voiceover artist on Network Ten, promoting advertisements for upcoming shows. He also appeared in 2001 as one of the main characters on The Secret Life of Us, also on Network Ten.

In 2004 he ventured on a round-Australia unicycle trip to raise funds for his charity.

On February 5, 2006, his girlfriend died tragically in a car accident.

He was a presenter on Nova FM in Melbourne but resigned in mid-2006.

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Samuel Johnson delves into the dark side for his new flick, The Illustrated Family Doctor.

You took a year off work. What did you get up to?
Sweet f**k all. A lot of hanging around, a lot of procrastinating. A lot of sleeping in, excessive drinking, walking dogs, reading books. All of the beautiful simple stuff.

And you’ve moved back to your country town birthplace?
I’ve been living in a fairly isolated community where you have to fight twice as hard for approval. I’m just the wanky city boy actor.

What do you have to do to get local approval?
Get into heaps of fights and say “f**k a lot”! I’m still working out how to get their bloody approval. It’s a place where hard work is honoured and anything that doesn’t give you calluses isn’t. I’m not whinging about it – I wanted to be there. I didn’t want people kissing my ass. I wanted people to tell me I’m an upstart and should take a good long hard look at myself.

What about The Illustrated Family Doctor attracted you then?
The script and the character (Gary). He’s a really f**ked up sort. He’s utterly flawed, he’s drowning in his own inertia. I got to explore the ugliness of the character – the more uncomfortable people felt looking at him, the better. It’s good to explore the dark side.

Did it make you evaluate your own life?
The similarities between me and Gary are scary. I mean, I’m fairly easy going and happy most of the time, but we’ve all got that dark side where we don’t know where we’re going, wonder why we’re here, wonder if it will get any better and are worried that it won’t. Life can be one long series of s**t storms, full of events you can’t anticipate or deal with appropriately.

Did that exacerbate those feelings for you?
It made it easier because you can access what the character’s going through if you’ve been through it yourself. But there’s roles that you can’t. Like if you’re going to play a rapist then you can’t understand that on a practical level. Then research and talking to people who’ve done it comes into.

Have you had to research a character that distasteful?
Oh yeah. My first cousin murdered his wife with an axe to the head while she was asleep for cheating on him ... after they’d split up because he’d cheated on her.

In your research, have you ever come across a character that distasteful?
Oh yeah. My first cousin murdered his wife while she was asleep with an axe to the head for cheating on him ... after they’d split up because he’d cheated on her.

Are you serious?
Yeah. But I’ve got 72 first cousins so there was bound to be one bad egg. This s**t happens all the time but most of us don’t hear it much.

We put our heads in the sand?
We don’t really want to know. But it’s that underbelly that interests any actor. I’d rather search through the muck down there and hopefully find some kind of enlightenment than suck on the fairy floss at the top for the rest of my days.

You dealt with a lot in the film – your character was afflicted by a lot of gruesome diseases …
Dealing with all of those diseases made me feel very lucky. I didn’t get paranoid, but I just felt so lucky not to have any major skin disorders or an STD or a big growth on my face or elephantitis or any of that kind of stuff! It makes you feel bad for complaining about your crooked teeth and your pimples. It makes you feel bloody beautiful. I was walking around feeling like Hasselhoff compared to all these poor people afflicted with elephantitis.

So are you happy with the film?
I don’t know if it will ever sink in. It’s just awesome. I’ve waited 10 years for a job like this. When I was 15 I imagined myself doing a film like this – that was the point I was looking towards. So in a way it’s been very fulfilling for me because I’ve harboured that desire for such a long time.

So if the work stopped tomorrow you’d be happy?
If I never did another film I’d be a bit p***ed off! But I wouldn’t really mind because I’d had a chance to work on this one. But I’d say the same about The Secret Life Of Us on telly – if I never did another television job that’s fine because I was part of something really special on Secret Life. I mean sure, some of the varnish has worn off and there were some mistakes made and the quality arguably did decline. But I felt like I was part of something that was culturally relevant. And before Secret Life I’d never been culturally relevant.

I’d always been uncool, or behind the times, or out of fashion. Then all of a sudden I was in fashion – I was in this hit show and I felt f**king cool for the first time in my life! Needless to say that feeling has now worn off and I can delight in the direct opposite.

But you can tell the grandkids one day …
When I have kids I’m going to say, “You listen to your dad, he was cool once. Here, watch this show and see.” That sounds really arrogant doesn’t it? Like I think that I’m really cool.

No, you’re right.
I didn’t feel I was cool the whole time or anything, it was more like I was perceived that way. Don’t’ make it sound like I think I’m cool.!

We promise we won’t. So have you been watching The Secret Life Of Us now that it’s finally back on TV?
I haven’t seen it, no. I haven’t got a telly. I’ve been blissfully unaware.

Are you finding that your level of public recognition has changed with your time out of the limelight?
To be honest, I’ve never been very good at gauging it anyway. Because for every one person that comes and chats to you, there’s always 10 who don’t bother you. I still get noticed a bit but I’d have to say less so than at the height of Secret Life’s popularity.


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DHS 01 August 2006: The 250 club is holding a charity event with the Melbourne Premier of the flick ''Footy Legends'' and Storm greats L-R are Ben Cross, Steve Turner, and Robbie Kearns were trying to stop Samuel Johnson who will be MC for the evening from making a try. Published: The Herald Sun - August 1, 2006 Page: 022 Edition: FIRST Pic. Trezise Paul

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This list contains all contributed appearances for Samuel Johnson. All appearances can be made at the individual TV Show or episode level. 

  Show Role
  New Adventures Of Ocean Girl Prince Jobah
  The Secret Life of Us Evan Wylde (episodes 1-72)

Guest Star
Show Role Episode
Australia's Brainiest Kid Contestant Australia's Brainiest Radio Star
Blue Heelers Glen Rigby Bloodstained Angels
Good Guys Bad Guys Dermott Maginnis You Light Up My Wife
Good Guys Bad Guys Dermott Maginnis There's No Business Like Small Business
Good Guys Bad Guys Dermott Maginnis Dog People
 The Bill Gareth Arnold Against the Odds
Thunderstone Duane Aliens on the Farm
Thunderstone Duane Friends in the Past

Forum discussion. July, 1st, 2006

robbo128 is writing:

Some Changes at Nova 100:

06:00AM - 09:00AM : Hughesy Kate & Dave

09:00AM - 12:00PM : Tim Arnold

12:00PM - 03:00PM :

03:00PM - 07:00PM : Michelle & Andy

07:00PM - 10:00PM : Nova 9s with Johnny & Jody

10:00PM - 11:00PM: The least worst bits of Merrick & Rosso

Has Sam Johnson left Nova? Currently the 12-3 timeslot is vacant, whats happening? Anyone know who is doing it? Bucko might, since Jody is on Nova 9's with Johnny.

MelbourneTV is writing:

assume Sam is just on holidays - everyone has had them lately.
With Andy moving to drive, Bucko has taken over 12-3.
I assume Tim is just filling in for Sam for a week or two.

robbo128 is writing:

Sam must've left Nova 100, there is no sightings of him on the website anymore.. I dont think there was any mention of him leaving or anything.