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Five Minutes with “Five Bedrooms” actor Johnny Carr

The acclaimed Australian gave us some insight into his craft, so we thought we’d give our readers some insights into his career.

Johnny Carr shot by Sally Flegg

With 12 years of acting and voice experience, it goes without saying acclaimed actor Johnny Carr has a solid background in the Australian entertainment industry. The diversity of performances he has delivered in productions such as The Greatest Love of All, Rush, and That’s Not Me are all excellent references to this fact.

Not surprisingly, Carr has starred in productions which have attracted a slew of awards, including the Green Room Award for Best Independent Theatre Production M + M and the NYC Web Fest for Best International Web Series in The Greatest Love of All.

It’s Johnny’s performance in Five Bedrooms as ‘Simmo’ however that stands out as one of the most memorable.

The popular Australian dramedy television series - which just started streaming on NBC’s streaming service Peacock in the US, tells the story of five people at different times in their lives, who come together after finding themselves sitting together at the singles' table at a wedding. After a few too many drinks, the solution to all their problems seems to be the joint purchase of a five-room house.

Johny’s ‘Simmo’ is introduced as a friend to one of the housemates, Ben (played by Hercules star Stephen Peacocke). It’s easy to say that Simmo’s involvement in the lives of these characters is crucial to open the audience's eyes to new stories and opportunities among the members of the house.

Once again, Carr exploits his talents and subverts audiences’ expectations. Carr constantly shows a depth and sensitivity in his portrayal of his character, a refreshing earthy tenderness that challenges well worn tropes of the hardened working class Australian male.

It’s clear Johnny dazzles in comedy, something which has helped piqued the interest of American producers in hiring the talented Aussie. Carr is undoubtedly capable of playing roles with spontaneity.

“There’s an undeniable rhythm with strong comedic writing that you have to just get out of the way of. You don’t need to wring it out. You just need to hang it on the line.”

But that’s not all Carr offers. In sharp contrast is Carr’s work in Eye Contact, opposite Slide and The Code star Adele Perovic. A future-set story focused on the intersection of technology and romance, the film project was a finalist for Best Film at the St Kilda Film Festival and winner of the Best Film and Best Director awards at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.

The most notable aspect of the film are the performances. Carr, in the role of Samuel, distills the history of his character in a series of gripping moments.

It’s a stellar performance as inviting as it is mysterious; Carr is grounded in the midst of chaos in a manner that makes him universally appealing to any viewer.

In one moment, for instance, Carr’s Samuel muses on a line from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein while trying to strike a rapport with an anxious Beth. It’s somehow alarming and tender at the same time. A quiet gentle connection in a hectic world. The connection is palpable.

The story’s complex simplicity reflects the duality embedded within Carr’s performance - a conflation of contradictory emotions that would be difficult for any other actor but is effortlessly delivered by the Newcastle native.

It’s no surprise that Carr’s attracted the attention of Australian viewers and TV lovers for many years, given the series of glowing critical reviews he has garnered in the Sydney Morning Herald and by other journalists over the years.

"Eye Contact" introductive scene where Johnny Carr plays Samuel

When asked about his approach to acting, Carr is down to earth and direct - true to the unpretentious and appealing personality for which he has become known.

“Don’t get me wrong, technique is a wonderful thing, but it’s the moments that catch you completely off guard that we’re panning for. You've just got to try to remain present enough for them to get in, not lock yourself out in a version you’ve decided is correct. That’s an incredibly limiting approach that I think comes from a place of control. Tripping and falling into something is normally much more captivating. Everyone knew the concept was so strong. We just kept trying to ground it in reality. Would love the chance to make another.”


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