Actor, father of four, voice over king and classically trained stage actor Grant Lyndon is used to juggling many things.
Like most people who are used to finding success, 2020 presented another year in which he was able to diversify interests and pivot. That energy produced his latest venture, a podcast featuring a slew of prominent guests.
Contrary to expectation however, the podcast isn’t about acting, but about helping busy and passionate dads give their very best to their families, and themselves. Among the highlights include Nadine Richardson and Dr Justin Coulson.
The generous endeavor, which has attracted positive notices and is available worldwide on Apple Podcasts, underscores the generosity of spirit and ease with balancing a hectic workload that has characterized Grant’s prolific career across all different mediums in Australia.
“There’s no singular approach to anything creative anymore. 2020 has shown us this, and demanded that we be adaptive in order to stay afloat or suffer stagnation.”
“For me 2020 has been about playing my strengths. I have my own recording studio, and have been able to produce content - including my BusyDads podcast, with minimal fuss, and most importantly launch it on a worldwide platform.”
The positive attitude in Grant’s speaking clearly falls at the centre of a mindset which has informed an interesting and successful artistic life, giving Grant the type of emotional dexterity possessed only by a rare few.
The most obvious expression of this easeful presence and ability to play beyond the expected was Grant’s applauded appearance “A Place to Call Home”, the award-winning Foxtel drama from Australian icon Bevan Lee wherein Grant played the American character, Jay Kenneth Katzan III.
The real life historical figure is a challenge for any actor, but with Grant, it presented an opportunity to learn about history, while for viewers of the popular show, it was a showcase of the family man’s impeccable talents.
Jay Kenneth Katzan III, both in history and in the Foxtel series, was a dynamic figure. Head of the US Chamber of Commerce, Grant was required to represent solidarity in what were some very uncertain financial times in Australia in the 1950s.
Australia needed a fiscal shoulder to lean on in those times, and the directors and producers of “A Place to Call Home” needed to capture that spirit accurately. The pressure on Grant was even more intense given the series, which would eventually run for six seasons, had gathered steam and a loyal audience overseas when the show was picked up for international distribution on Acorn TV.
In one moment, Grant was asked by director Catherine Millar, to improvise the opening of a scene.
When working in period, and in another accent, this can be a great challenge as the writing really holds the authenticity of the era and the purpose of that character in that particular moment. The moment, it’s clear how Grant brings a strong extension of what he’d already embodied with Katzan III, from what was already on the page, and this allowed every moment from there on in to be underpinned by an accuracy and strength.
Ultimately, Grant’s ability to play a man who has seen more than he shows, and embody a historical figure who offers the guiding hand of a superpower to a very young, yet dynamic country like Australia, was second to none.
The authenticity Grant brought to his portrayal set the tone for the storyline and allowed the rest of the cast, which boasted “Outlander” star David Berry and award-winning actor Marta Dussledorp among its cast, to do their job with confidence.
With the compelling nature of Grant’s performance, it’s no surprise that he’s attracted the interest of producers in the US, who have offered him a slew of impressive contracts.
“Covid had really made it tough to confirm plans of working in the US,” Grant explains. “Plus scheduling around work at home can be tricky in these uncertain times, however I’m super grateful for all of the opportunities and the relationships that I’m building with casting and producers there.”
Indeed, despite the interest from overseas filmmakers to engage Grant’s services and use his deeply refined craft to hone their productions, he’s still a favourite by filmmakers and television producers on home soil, as he firmly proved in his work on “Home and Away.”
In that iconic series, often-mentioned to the degree of cliché as the stomping ground of Marvel star Chris Hemsworth and, before him, two-time Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts,
In “Home and Away”, Grant embodied a different era, and type of man than the one he had in “A Place to Call Home,” showcasing a formidable range.
In the role of Professor Calabra, Grant represented the type of masculine credibility often missing from a series frequently dominated by teenagers and millenial storylines. Grant’s character represented the conduit through which Kat (played by female lead, Pia Miller) was going to fulfil her dreams of becoming a criminologist and moving away from her known role as a policewoman.
When watching the series, it's clear that Grant brought a stoic yet sensitive approach to Calabra, allowing a depth of authority, with reason, that grounded the storyline.
In one moment, for instance, it could have been an easy choice for Grant to make his Calabra cold or even indignant with Kat. Given that she was clearly disqualifying herself from the opportunity at hand through her own choices, but he chose to play this with empathy and really hear what she had to say. It didn’t change the outcome, however gave great depth to what could have been a unidimensional exchange. It was a memorable moment that invites any viewer’s gaze and stands as a strong example for how and why Grant is an ‘actor’s actor.’
While the ‘Busy Dad’s podcast might represent a continuation of Lyndon’s range in terms of career avenues and accomplishments, and is a very different working environment to “Home and Away” and “A Place to Call Home,” it’s ultimately a consistent expression of the reason why Grant is an actor in the first place:to connect and engage in an empathetic experience.
“When you really walk in the other character’s shoes, it’s near impossible not to have an empathetic response to the challenges they face. We all feel the feelings that our favourite characters feel - if only for a fleeting moment.”