Mike Minogue steps into the Canvas Confession Box
You ready with your sins?
It's not fun to admit to any of them but I was going through these with the missus, trying to work out which ones I'm guilty of - and I am not massively guilty of many of them.
I'm sure we will find something. You chose sloth.
Sloth was actually my nickname in Levin where I grew up and it still is, usually. I was in Hamilton when I was about 18 and was marginally hungover and people wanted to go out and do some sightseeing things around the region that I wasn't massively excited about. My friend told me to stop being such a sloth and get off the couch. I was Sloth after that, which is not the best nickname in the world.
You did lots of challenging jobs before you came to acting, which seems like the opposite of slothful.
I went to uni in Wellington because my mum thought I should. I spent all of my student loan on booze within about three months, then I moved back to Levin and went on the dole. Then I started selling first aid kits door-to-door. I won Salesman of the Year a couple of years in a row from doing that, then I moved to Hawke's Bay and started selling alarm systems and I won Salesman of the Year a couple of times there. I moved to Australia and got into the wonderful world of furniture removals in Sydney. Then I came back to New Zealand and got into film but nothing really stuck until I auditioned for Tom Scott's Separation City. I didn't want to audition but I have a rule for myself. If I don't want to do something just because of fear, I have to do it.
You must be very convincing on the doorstep. People don't like door-to-door sales.
No, in the probably top three people you don't want to see on your doorstep, I'd say. Top would probably be a police officer telling you one of your kids is dead. Second would be some sort of religious salesperson and third would be a door-to-door salesperson. We used to work in quite low socio-economic areas and they were always happy to see somebody. It was a great life lesson actually, about who the good guys and who the bad guys are. The lower down the socio-economic ladder they were, the better received you would be. Middle class, they would slam the door in your face. Lower down, they may not have much but it was yours. I was only 18 at the time and it was a massive eye-opener.
When did you realise you had a knack for comedy?
I think it came from growing up in Levin. There's not a lot to do. You entertain yourself with your mates just talking s*** and you sharpen your wit on each other. My favourite thing in the world is laughing and my other favourite thing in the world is my mates telling me crazy stories. When somebody goes away on holiday and comes back, you don't want to hear about the great things that happened, you want to hear about what went wrong. We lost our luggage, the flight was delayed, I got food poisoning.
Who are you envious of?
I am not envious of people personally or professionally. I like to see people do well.
The only thing I am envious of is the English cricket fans and that they got to win the World Cup. I envy them that feeling, because I am not sure when we're ever going to get that close again. I'm a bit of a cricket tragic - I have just had my first baby and this will be her first Christmas and it's a matter of priorities. I will be going to Australia [to support the Black Caps] for the Boxing Day test.
What makes you angry?
I'm not a violent person or even an angry person, I am a pretty laid-back New Zealander all around but there is something about computer cables tangling and my laptop crashing that makes me angry. When you hook your laptop up to the TV and the sound won't work - I know that what I'm doing should be working but it's not, which makes me want to put it through the wall. There is a fair amount of swearing that goes on and that just helps, it is a scientific fact that swearing helps, although my wife doesn't necessarily want to hear it. But she's an eternal optimist, always smiling and has a massive amount of joie de vivre and that can be annoying in its own way, can't it? But I don't complain about that.
Mike Minogue stars in Wellington Paranormal, on TVNZ2 Wednesdays and TVNZ OnDemand.