New Zealand actor Charles Mesure must often pinch himself and think, 'This is really not my life'. Two weeks ago, Mesure, 40, shot the final episode of Desperate Housewives in Los Angeles. It airs in the US on Sunday. 'I'm pretty much still coming down from that craziness,' he says. 'I plan on lying around for the month of May.'

What sort of housewife would you make?

I'd like to say "desperate" and spectacularly overpaid. But probably grouchy and anal.

Ever had any "work" done - a lift here, a tuck there?


I had a scar running from my nose towards the corner of my mouth. About a year ago, I had it surgically removed. LA is an interesting town. Everyone has work done. I know a lot of actors out here in their 50s who would pass as late 30s in NZ.

What's the hardest lesson you've had to learn since living in LA?

Life is nasty, brutish and short. And so are many of the people in this industry.

What are your insecurities and how do you overcome them?

Oh, ageing I guess; a morbid fear of never working again; the fact that most of the competition in LA looks like George Clooney or Brad Pitt. Positive self-talk helps. And strong drink.

How do you measure success?

David Williamson, the Australian playwright - I hope I'm not misquoting him - when asked what his proudest achievement was, replied, "My tax return." I couldn't agree more. As an actor, writer, whatever, if you're even making a living, you've made it.

What do you make of the culture of celebrity?

When Sarah Palin could conceivably have ended up running the free world, it's obvious that we've gone too far. Personally, when TMZ is shoving a microphone up your nose as you're walking out of Starbucks, I find it pretty dull.

But when tourists are visiting from around the world and they want their picture taken with you because they get such a kick out of the show you're on, I do feel kind of privileged - it's not such a bad thing to be doing for a living.

What would you cook to impress?

Lasagne, coq au vin, roast chicken with stuffing, chicken provencale - something I know I can cook without screwing up. I love to cook but I rarely do it any more - you're not allowed to eat in LA.

Which of the seven deadly sins do you most identify with?

Sloth, hands down. Most things in life make me want to lie down and take a nap.

What's the most irrational thing you've ever done?

I moved to LA with no agent and Buckley's chance of getting a job. Twice.

Describe your first kiss.

A frightening amount of tongue. It lay in my mouth like a dead slug.

Television is all very well, but it will never take the place of ...?

Krispy Kreme donuts. The LA Lakers. Sex.

What film have you walked out of and why?
Fatal Attraction when I was a teenager. When Glenn Close came out with her wrists cut, I had to leave the theatre before I fainted - it was so unexpected. Embarrassing, but true. I've never been too good with blood. Ironic considering the number of people I've shot, killed or tortured on TV over the years.