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Thursday 30 April 2015

Effie Stephanides: Interview + Classic 90s Hits CD

When Josie's Juice interviewed Effie Stephanides, little did I know it was going to be a strap yourself in and get ready for the madness kinda interview.

The thing is, Effie is bloody hilarious in interview - wildly funny and hugely un-PC and she owns it completely.

I start off by stating the obvious: that she's suddenly very busy this week.

"Yeah, I'm very popular this week. One of those weeks."

Effie's entrance into the 'Today' show was something else (see the clip and CD release info here), where she arrived in a Hummer, with bodyguards and dancers, and performed some slick 1990s dance moves, while announcing her double CD release 'Effie's Classic 90s Hits'.

"I know, I know… there's no point doing things by halves!"

The playlist on Effie's new CD is 1990s gold. Think 'Things That Make You Go Hmmm', 'Another Night', 'Shy Guy', 'Pony' and much more, two CDs more. Michael Bolton, Peter Andre, Backstreet Boys… argh! It's ALL there. The CD is brilliant, you guys. It's a must buy for Nineties dance and love song tragics. It's a pump it up and make it doof, doof, doof out of your car speakers, manaia!

We all know the power of a song spiralling you back to a time and place and I ask Effie to essentially spill some secrets on why she chose the songs she did for her album… surely there is some connection to these songs, some secrets to reveal?

"Well, you know, being the type of chick that I am, I wouldn't use the magnet, you know, I attract furniture, animals, pets… but certainly the attention of most things, and even gay guys can't help but be drawn to me, so I suppose 'U Can't Touch This' became a bit of a theme song, because I'm quite frigid by nature, I suggest, but I don't do much, I am quite naive and inexperienced in that department, so 'U Can't Touch This' well that was big for everyone, but for me I remember being on the dance floor and I was: "Seriously, don't touch this."

"And the C & C Music Factory song - 'Things That Make You Go Hmmm' - that was one of the first songs I ever heard that was really funny for a dance song. I thought, oh this has a different take on it. Most songs are blowing the same trumpet, which is love, sex, you know, you rooted around on me, you don't want me, I want you, all that sorta stuff, but I thought this track was different. And I got excited by Dee-Lite's song 'Groove Is In The Heart', and I thought, oh my gawd they're gonna be the next Beatles, and they came and went. You know I was like, spewing. And I remember at the time the lead singer said she was gonna be bigger than Madonna and I thought, oh they're big words. I thought, I don't know if I would say that if I was you. She's a legend. Sometimes new artists come out and they poo poo the other ones.

"Anyway, there's so many different tracks, and when you hear them, you go, of course! That;s what I wanted. I like my audience to be proactive. I don't want them to sit and dumb down. I want them to feel, ya know. I want them to have the urge to get up and get amongst it. To have fun, life's tough and pretty serious, and you gotta fight for your right to party. Was it the Beastie Boys that said that? And you do.

"I mean, people fight for their right on a Saturday night. In the old days, they did. Now they party whenever. But in the olden days, I remember getting ready to go out and it taking hours of planning, I mean it was a whole ritual, listening to all those old songs as you were getting ready. It's almost like the getting ready was better than the going out. I'm a very much a fan of the Nineties even though I was born in the Eighties. The Nineties were very kind to me. I am there, but I'm here, ya know. I'm the type pf person that hoards around anything good and fun. So I hoard around the past past, but I am very much now and very into tomorrow as well… ya know? I am a lover of new school, fun, good times, people being together.

"And the second CD, it's not for the lactose intolerant, ya know. It's slightly cheesy. There are cheese elements. I love the songs where ya go, okay daggy, but good. Like a dirty secret. Like Michael Bolton. I know I shouldn't… but I do. I like him. He's one of my dirty secrets. Not on any other level though. I feel for the guy. I mean, I am so blessed follicularly and he hung on, he really hung onto those sideburns and then the ponytail… look, I don't want to talk about it, it would be my worst nightmare, what he had to go through, hair-wise. I know he can sing, but… you don't sing every time someone's looking at you, but you have hair every time someone is looking at you, so…

Josie's Juice tells Effie: For me, the 1990s was about my uni years, and dating, and being messed around my idiots, and all of that fun… how would you define the 1990s for you?

"Look, if I was up myself in Eighties, I don't know multiply that and the times square it, I mean I  thought I was king shit in the Nineties, I'm just walking around like Puff Daddy, but without the Daddy, just the Puffy bit. I thought I was greater than some sorta superhero, a cultural superhero, and I still think that. But I know that I am. It was the Nineties that I got out and about, you know, just did shows, and enjoyed it. You know when you're young and you wanna do as much as you can, because you've got so much adrenaline, so much energy, you don't have responsibilities, you only have them to yourself, like I'm still trying to hold on to that concept. I try to take the oxygen mask in every possible scenario… I'm the type that takes care of my business first. It's very healthy. Instead of being a martyr. I can't stand people that go, oh my God I did this to this person or that person, no… you did it because you were tryin' to suck up, you wanted to be liked, or you didn't want to spend that time doing something good for yourself, so stop complainin' about it.

"I don't whinge. I don't whinge about anything. I am very grateful. I'm very committed to my own wellness and bigness, and I like to take everyone with me. You know, I see my boofhead fans as my spiritual entourage. I feel like they look to me for a little bit of carbonation. They look to me like a laugh and a half and go yeah, alright, it's alright to have a go. It's very Australian but very Greek at the same time."

Josie's Juice says here that she grew up with Greeks, dated them, hung out with them in her area, but… "Greeks have a particular… er… hope you don't mind me saying Effie, but they have maybe an inflated view of themselves sometimes, would you say…?

"Oh, no, don't even apologise. I don't even know why you're torturing yourself like that… there is no… it's very rare to find an insecure Greek. I'm not mucking around, they're very sure of themselves. See, because unlike you Catholics we don't guilt ourselves up that much. You know our religion is so easy, I don't even know if there is a confession, and if there was there, that's where everyone would be. And they make no apologies for being human. Humans are gonna do that, and do that. And the thing about the Greeks is that they're very contradictory, but we're very community orientated in a way that empowers us. You know, we feel like we're part of something great, part of something big, ya know. And you feel it, even though you might not be in amongst a crowd of Greeks, you feel the history, and you feel the attitude of Greeks, as an asset to who you are. And at times, a friggin' liability. You know, they don't mind a chat, they'll sit down and have a coffee and chat, and they'll talk about it all. There is no actual word for privacy in the Greek language. I mean, if that doesn't tell you everything, I don't know what does.

"And you know, when they talk about depression, the number one cause of depression is feeling isolated, feeling alone. And the Greeks, they don't have that. There's no chance of feeling alone, I mean I don't think I have had a thought of my own when I'm in the presence of Greeks. I don't think they've given me a chance to think a thought of my own, they're so busy vocalising theirs. It's like, exhausting."

Josie's Juice declares here that Italians have invented a 'shit-load' of stuff, but the Greeks claim it as their own. What's with that?!

"Oh my GOD, hello?! Are you on drugs? It's the complete opposite, let me tell you something: we started it all, you copy everything.

"We've got Zeus, you guys go off and do Jupiter. We've had Aphrodite, oh, guess what, we've got Venus. What's with that! Hello, you stole our gods. We brought coffee to Sicily when were there, you guys just make money out it. You guys don't even have the dignity to sit down when you drink coffee, you know why, because you're too busy running off and making money out of other cultures' ideas."

(More on this very funny Effie interview up shortly… Josie's Juice and Effie could not stop our chat, like good wogs who can't shut up. Although everyone knows Italians do it better, Effie… ouchhhh!)

And now, more about the fabulous 1990s CD from Effie.

You guys, if you love the 1990s, you basically have to buy this CD immediately.

Here is the fantastic track listing - all killer, no filler:

CD1 – On Your Feet! 
  1. C&C Music Factory – Things That Make You Go Hmmm 
  2. En Vogue – Free Your Mind 
  3. Ini Kamoze - Here Comes The Hotstepper 
  4. MC Hammer – You Can’t Touch This 
  5. Dee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart 
  6. Guru Josh – Infinity 
  7. Paula Abdul – Opposites Attract 
  8. Kris Kros – Jump 
  9. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Boom Shake The Room 
  10. RunDMC – It’sLikeThat 
  11. Snow – Informer 
  12. RealMcCoy – Another Night 
  13. MarkMorrison – Return Of The Mack 
  14. MontellJordan – This Is How WeDoIt 
  15. R Kelly – She’s Got That Vibe 
  16. Genuine – Pony 
  17. LaBouche - BeMyLover 
  18. Dr. Alban - Sing Hallelujah 
  19. Kulcha - ShakaJam 
CD2 – On Your Back! 
  1. Maxi Priest – Close To You 
  2. Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You 
  3. Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last 
  4. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You 
  5. Silk – Freak Me 
  6. SWV – Right Here 
  7. Boyz II Men – I’ll Make Love To You 
  8. Peter Andre – Mysterious Girl 
  9. Diana King – Shy Guy 
  10. Brownstone – If You Love Me 
  11. Toni Braxton – You’re Making Me High 
  12. The Tony Rich Project – NobodyKnows 
  13. Groove Theory – Tell Me 
  14. Az Yet – LastNight 
  15. Backstreet Boys – As Long As You Love Me 
  16. Brandy – I Wanna Be Down 
  17. Next – Too Close 
  18. ColorMeBadd – I Wanna Sex You Up

The press release is typical Effie. It's in Effie's voice, and demands a cut and paste right here:

Fellow boofheads, I have exciting news that will have youse dancing in the streets... to quote my good friends David and Mick...

Yes. I’ve signed a record deal! Genius I know. None of youse will be surprised but I have been chased, sleazed on and schmoozed for years to release an album. Of course the only condition being that I don’t actually sing on it. If that works for Britney it can work for the Effster.

This piece of ‘must have music’ is called, ‘Effie’s Classic 90s Hits’. It’s a collection of my favourite songs from that unforgettable decade.

CD 1 is to get you on your feet, busting moves.

CD 2 is to get you on your back, to make a little music of your own - if youse hear me knocking.

Dance away to MC Hammer, En Vogue, Paula Abdul and Real McCoy. Or get all loved up to Michael Bolton, Boyz II Men and Peter Andre! It’s unbelievable.

If you want it hard - buy the CD or if youse want it soft - download it from iTunes. I’ll give it to you any way you like it.

If love slash lust doesn’t find you after playing this album – please, see a doctor.

It’s gonna be huge people. And I thank youse in advance for my ARIA award. It has a special place next to my beloved Logie.

‘Effie’s Classic 90s Hits’, two CDs for the price of one and half. When it comes to CDs I don’t mind being called cheap. Always, Effie.

Effie’s Classic 90s Hits – physical and digital album released on 17 April, 2015 through Social Family Records

Some tickets still available for her comedy show at her Sydney Comedy Festival show 'A Date With Effie' go to this link. The show is very, very funny and classic Effie. And - she's got a rocking' bod, the Effster - for a virgin mother who apparently pushed out a bambina, Aphrodite (Effie and Affy, get it!)

And, Effie will be at Westfield Liverpool (NSW) this Saturday at 11am:

Buy Effie's 90s CD on iTunes here.

You can follow Effie on Facebook here.

'Australia's Next Top Model': Season 9 - VIDEO

This - starts tonight. Are you a fan?

'Australia's Next Top Model' is now into season 9.

With the sad death of one of the judges, Charlotte Dawson, the format has now changed.

Each week this series there will be a guest judge.

And of course, the stunning and lovely Jennifer Hawkins is back as host of the show.

Consistent each year is the fabulous - and knows what he is talking about in every way - judge Alex Perry.

And the model mentors - the equally lovely Didier Cohen and beautiful Cheyenne Tozzi.

Here: trailers:

For more, go to Fox8TV or ANTM Fox8 site.

Wednesday 29 April 2015

'Game of Balls': The 'Porno' You Must Watch

When I was sent this press release earlier today I thought, yes… I must watch! Looks cheeky.

Well, I just watched and… jaw has dropped.

BUT! It's for a good cause.

All the doctor-phobic men out there: this is for a you!

A 'porno' you SHOULD be watching!

Play with Yourself | It might just save your life. from playwithyourself.org on Vimeo.

In line with Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, introducing 'Game of Balls', which was created for Australian testicular cancer awareness charity, The Blue Ball Foundation - aimed to tackle the issue that the odds of testicular cancer is 21% higher in Australia. 

The Blue Ball Foundation have teamed up with adult film studio Digital Playground to deliver the world’s first public service message inside an adult film – the press release says: "…think we both know, the best way to encourage men to check themselves for such a disease would be hidden, incognito within the middle of an adult film!"

The ‘Play with Yourself’ message is a real-life demonstration of how to check yourself for testicular cancer, performed by Eva Lovia on her male co-star.  Since launching, the life-saving PSA has spread incognito, far and wide – with over 1 million views – numbers boosted by illegal downloads thanks to the Game of Thrones torrent frenzy!

Jumping on the popular Game of Thrones bandwagon, the film is titled ‘Game of Balls’ and runs in-line with the highly anticipated season five release. With the recent GOT episode leak, consumers have taken to torrent sites desperately seeking more Westeros action. 

And on April 12 the X-rated parody 'Game of Balls' was released on several porn sites, including five of the top free adult sites visited by Aussie men, to tie in with both world testicular cancer month and the launch of season five of Game of Thrones. Bloody clever, eh?!

For more on playing with yourself, guys, go here: playwithyourself.org.

Oh, and some stats on testicular cancer down under (get it!? Australian stats AND… you know… down under):

Australian men are 21% more likely to get testicular cancer than the world average.
It’s 97% curable when detected early. But sadly, most men never check themselves.
So please, do yourself a favour. Have a look.

Follow these guys - The Blue Ball Foundation on Twitter here.

More about them:

The Blue Ball Foundation was founded by Jamie Morgan and a mate, both survivors of testicular cancer. It provides education and support to young adult men, in an effort to raise awareness about testicular cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in Aussie men aged 20-39.
Jamie believes there is a ‘culture of embarrassment’, that discourages men from discussing and resolving problems related to man issues. They use live comedy, inspirational talks in schools and workplaces, YouTube videos, events and social media to build a culture where embarrassment does not prevent men from checking ‘their boys’.
You lads seriously rock! Go you two.

Sam Frost: 'The Bachelorette' Australia

In TV new just in, Sam Frost has been announced as the first 'The Bachelorette' for Australia.

Fans of 'The Bachelor' will recall Sam was chosen by Blake Garvey (the second 'Bachelor' for the Australian series, which screened last year) to be his one and only, and a much-talked about finale… only to be, well, un-chosen by Blake in favour of fellow contender on the show, Louise Pillidge. That couple is still together.

And now, it's Sam's turn to (hopefully) find TV love all over again.

What do you think of the choice? Will you be watching?

You can follow 'The Bachelorette' Australia on Facebook here.

And for US fans, this was the first US 'The Bachelorette' proposal - Trista and Ryan!

Still together after over a decade of marriage:

Tuesday 28 April 2015

'Save Our Boys Mr Abbott': Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - Celebrity Mercy VIDEO

Overnight, this video was posted:

'Save Our Boys Mr Abbott': the video created for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, including celebrities and every day Aussies. It was created by actor Anthony Hayes, who appears in the video, alongside actors including Brendan Cowell, Deborah Mailman, and Bryan Brown.

For more on what has happened in the past 24 hours, click here.

Actor Brendan Cowell, as he appears in the video

Monday 27 April 2015

Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder Wedding Day: PHOTO

In wedding news just in, Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder just got married.
The 36 year old 'Vampire Diaries' star and the 26 year old 'Twilight' actress got married Sunday (US time) at sunset in Santa Monica, California, E! News has confirmed.
In a loving gesture, E! News can confirm that in lieu of gifts, wedding guests were asked to donate to the newlywed's animal rescue charity.
The couple's wedding day has come only nine months after they first started dating and almost four months after they got engaged.
Photo: BBC/Splash News

Bali Nine: Indonesia court agrees to hear case on May 12: lawyer

In breaking news just in, the condemned Bali Nine duo will reportedly have a last appeal heard by the Indonesian Constitutional Court, though it's unclear if their executions will be stayed. (This blog post was updated overnight - see updates below).

The court will hear Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan’s appeal on May 12, reports said.
This news comes on the eve of the duo's scheduled executions, which were expected to take place shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning.
Former lawyer for the pair, Muhammed Rifan, today claimed Indonesian judges asked for more than $130,000 in exchange for a sentence of less than 20 years in prison.
Andrew Chan married his fiancé today as the duo on death row prepared to be killed.
"For the Bali Nine (pair), we have the Constitutional Court appeal, we have the registration number and we have the schedule fixed on May 12," Leonard Arpan, lawyer for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, told reporters.
"We keep hoping that this ongoing legal process will be respected."
This report from news wires and this report on sbs.com.au


While Indonesia's constitutional court has agreed to hear the case on May 12, Indonesia is still intending to proceed with the executions, and it is understood the pair still have only 24 hours to live.


This morning it has been reported that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has continued her pleas for clemency for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran as their final hours draw closer.
She this morning revealed that she had received a letter from Indonesia confirming it planned to go ahead with the executions of the two men.
“They gave no indication that President (Joko) Widodo would change his mind and grant the clemency that we have sought,” she told the Nine Network.
Indonesia has not formally revealed the date when it plans to execute the two men by firing squad. It is believed to be on track for midnight tonight.
For more, see here.

In an online video, titled "Save our boys Mr Abbott", prominent Australian actors, musicians and writers use strong language to urge Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to travel to Indonesia.
Those who appear in the film include actors Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Bryan Brown, Deborah Mailman, Joel Edgerton and Brendan Cowell.
compassion you'd go to Indonesia and bring these boys home," Brendan Cowell says in the video. "Show some balls."
See the video here:

'The Sound of Music': Nicholas Hammond Interview + 50th Anniversary DVD Giveaway

'The Sound of Music' fans - get excited!

The revered, iconic movie which has stood the test of time is turning 50 - and Josie's Juice has ten copies of the family favourite on Blu-Ray or DVD (your choice) to enjoy all over again.

And, Josie's Juice spoke to the ever lovely Nicholas Hammond, who true TSOM fans will know as the cute as a button Friedrich. The insightful, fun interview is below.

But first, I know you wanna know about the special, commemorative DVD you can get your hands on.

Twentieth Century Fox proudly honours the 50th anniversary of the 1965 (when you say it that way, it doesn't feel that long ago… but it IS!) box office smash and five-time Academy Award-winning 'The Sound of Music', with an unprecedented year-long company-wide celebration highlighted by theatrical and home entertainment releases, and a slew of promos that will bring one of the world’s most ‘favourite things,’ to millions around the globe.

Announced by the Studio, the unparalleled golden anniversary of the film’s premiere is April 22, 2015 with the release of the 4-disc 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition featuring a limited edition porcelain tea cup. It's a beautifully restored, the 4-disc 50th anniversary collection which features over 15 hours of bonus content highlighted by the all-new documentary “The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg,” detailing Andrews' recent return to the magical city where she filmed her iconic role Maria half a century ago.

The treasured and much loved film will once again proudly shine on the big screen in celebration of this special anniversary. A beautifully restored digital version of the film will be shown on "Mother's Day" May 10th at selected cinemas. Now that is a cute idea.

"'The Sound of Music' is one of the most beloved movies of all time and has become part of the cultural fabric of generations around the world,” said Mary Daily, President of Worldwide Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. "From its very beginning The Sound of Music has brought immense joy to millions. The 50th Anniversary offers us the opportunity to honour this very special film -- the music, scenes and moments that continue to keep it as relevant today as when it first premiered."

A phenomenon upon its debut in 1965, 'The Sound of Music'’s spectacular ‘roadshow’ release spanned over two years in cinemas, inspiring audiences on the way to winning the Best Picture Oscar as well as millions of fans spanning multiple generations.  A testament to its enduring popularity, this timeless classic enjoys nearly 2.5 million Facebook followers (with 50% aged 34 years old or younger! How cool is that?).

'The Sound of Music' 50th anniversary celebration will feature a global partnership with Princess Cruises, also celebrating their Golden Anniversary in 2015. The acclaimed line will screen the movie on board multiple sailings throughout the year along with themed events, sing-a-long experiences and more. 

The emotional all-new 'The Sound of Music' documentary “The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg” documentary blends personal memories with fascinating history as Ms. Andrews returns to key sites in the story of the von Trapps including Nonnberg Abbey, Mondsee Abbey, and the “Do-Re-Mi” steps at Mirabell Gardens. With the collection, fans can further explore the making of the biggest live-action musical of all time with numerous featurettes highlighting the movie, music, real-life von Trapp family and more. 

Before it was an Academy Award® winning film, 'The Sound of Music' was a Tony Award winning Broadway musical, and productions of the stage musical continue to be presented all over the world.  2015 will see the launch of a major new stage tour across the US and Canada, directed by Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien, simultaneous with another stage production touring the UK.

Winner of five Academy Awards®*, including Best Picture and Best Director, Robert Wise’s  inspiring adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is the most  popular musical of all time and one of the genre's biggest box office hits. Starring Oscar** winners Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, the film follows Maria (Andrews), the warm-hearted young woman who brings joy and music to Captain von Trapp (Plummer) and his seven children. This cinematic treasure is filled with unforgettable songs including “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things” and “The Sound of Music.”

*1966: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Music
**1965: Best Actress in a Leading Role; Mary Poppins / 2012: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; Beginners

For details on how to win a copy, scroll to the bottom.

Nicholas Hammond Interview with Josie's Juice

When we chat with Nicholas Hammond, he's fresh from a stint as co-host Studio 10 - and he says he "loved it." 

"I found it quite an interesting wrap up of everything that's going on in the day," Nicholas said of the program, "I was delighted to stay for the whole show."

Nicholas continues: "Who would have thought all those years ago that we'd still be talking about it and that so many people still love the movie. I think we all feel very honoured that people love it as much as they do."

People have a strong emotional connection to watching the movie, I point out.

Says Nicholas: "It's always wonderful to hear it had a profound impact on so many people's lives.

"The most moving anecdotes I hear are when you feel in some way, even if it's in a small way, that the movie had a significant effect on people's lives for the good."

"People suffering from a terrible bout of depression, who had undergone some kind of sadness in their life, or some kind of trauma or personal tragedy, and watching the film was a way for them to kind of turn the corner and rebuild their lives  - and to think that the movie would have been a part of that is truly meaningful.

"There was a story that I heard which was from a Vietnam vet who had came back from Vietnam really quite shattered, and with very little faith in the world and with humanity and very cynical and very, very depressed. He probably was suffering what we now know as post traumatic stress disorder, and he said his girlfriend at the time, now his wife, would play the film for him every day, and she thinks it saved his life. Because little by little it just restored his faith.

"The other story I have heard on numerous occasions, which is moving for me to hear it, is that people who have had a parent or grandparent, who knew that they were dying, and they said that really, as one of their last requests, that they wanted the whole family to gather together and watch the film. And you just feel such a sense of responsibility.

"Sometimes I am asked, don't you ever get sick of talking about it? And I think, how dare I get sick of talking about it when it's that kind of profound effect, I mean you know, it's still makes me quite emotional to know there are people in the world who for one reason or another actually believe that movie affected their lives for the better. It's a huge thing and a great gift.

"Another thing I am asked is: aren't you cross that actors who make movies now get squillions of dollars and that movie made so much money and you all didn't get paid very much money. And I say but how many actors out there can say that they've been in a movie that's had the effect, for good, like this one has. and you can't out a price tag on that.

"I feel we got paid more than a king's ransom of gold in what we were given by the privilege of  being in that film, and the friendships that we formed with each other and the love that all of us had for each other, the close, close bonds that we have. I've had 50 years of friendship and affection with that entire wonderful group of people. Again you can't put a price on that. It's a gift. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world. The stories I told are just the tip of the iceberg. So many people, when they find out who you are, get emotional and hold my hand and tell me about a time in their life when that film was important to them. And you just think, boy, I am so privileged to be a part of this extradordimary phenomenon that is 'The Sound Of Music'.

"And it grows, that's the extraordinary thing; you'd think after 50 years of a film, it'd be dwindling and getting smaller and smaller, but it's quite the opposite, it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger. People still love it, even though it's this 50 year old movie. I can't think of another film that's 50 years old, that kids would flock to go and yet, children from almost the age of toddlers all seem to love 'The Sound of Music.'"

And it's something that parents can safely show their kids and the messages are still relevant and quite beautiful for kids today, I say to Nicholas.

"I think you've hit the nail on the head, I think it's the message more than anything else that is the reason for its success. You know, everybody tried to figure out the formula of what it is that has made it such a phenomenon. But I really think it's the fundamental human themes of love and loyalty and loyalty to your country and bravery and cir age in the face of difficulty. And when you think about it, it covers virtually every aspect of love. It covers love of a man for a woman, love of girl for a boy, love of children for a parent, love of children who are missing a mother, for a new mother, and then love of country, your patriotism.

"It doesn't matter what race you are, what ethnic group you're in, where in the world you are, I think those are fundamental themes that we all in our hearts would like to think that if we ere ever put in a situation like the Von Trapps were put in, that we would behave as honourably as they did.

"And then it's all buttoned up in this wonderful package of fantastic Rodgers and Hammerstein music and a wonderful script, and an astonishing performance by Julie Andrews, so it's a wonderful package but I think it's what's under the package that makes people keep coming back.

"It'll be interesting to see with your twins which of the children they most enjoy watching in the movie.

I still have people who communicate with me on social media who were my age when I was fuming, so 13, 14, 15, the same age when they first saw the movie."

"Most kids will identify with the child who was closest in age to them the first time they watched it. 
Your daughter may say: Marta or Brigitta are her favourites. You could ask a child watching it for the first time: if you could choose a child as your friend, which one would it be?

We then speak about Lady Gaga - who is someone considered so cutting edge as an artist - and her rendition of Julie Andrews's song was very clever and respectful and opened up a whole new world of people who wanted to watch the movie.

"You know you're right because, I was like everyone else in the world sitting at home, watching the Oscars, and when they said 'The Sound of Music' by Lady Gaga, a little thing in the back of my brain thought: please dear God don't let her send it up. Which I thought, maybe being a rock queen, her choice might be to do a sort of send up version, or a punk version, but she came out and sang so respectfully and bless her heart, I think she was actually singing for all she was worth. She was being as good as she could possibly be. And then to see her and Julie Andrews embrace on stage, I just thought, this is like one great musical star passing the torch on to the other one.'

"It was wonderfully symbolic. As you said, Lady Gaga had such respect for the material, it showed that even if you are one of the edgiest, coolest rock chicks in the world it doesn't mean you don't respect and understand the craft and the brilliance behind 'The Sound of Music'".

So many people have been to the set of 'The Sound of Music' in Salzburg, and Nicholas agrees the location is as important as ever.

"It's a huge thing for Austria, for many, many years - hundreds of thousands of people come each year to do the tour.

"To walk through these gardens and to see that nothing has changed. I don't think they're allowed to change it. The gardens where we sang 'Do Re Mi' look exactly the same.

"I did a documentary myself a couple of years ago, about the real Von Trapp family, and then I am going in October with the other six Von Trapp children, a 50th anniversary gala over three days. It will be huge fun. We have great fun. You should come 

"It's sort of funny because when we were making the movie we were children so there were many things we weren't allowed to do. We couldn't go to the bars, we couldn't go the fancy hotels, we couldn't do anything at night because we all had to be in bed so early, so it's kind of like, slightly wicked, to go back now and say, ooh, this is where Chris Plumber used to play piano every night in the bar, and go see the things the grown ups used to see and we never got to see."

I ask Nicholas: what are your lasting memories of what Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews taught him at that time?

"Well, a huge amount. It was like going to the greatest acting school in the world. 

Greatest film school, to have Chris and Julie as kinda role models. they were like the yin and yang: Christopher was a Shakesperean actor and very serous, he was a classically trained acrotr and he hadn't had a lot of film experience but he was enofrmaulsy skilled as a stage acyr[, so he moved beautifully and used his voice and great command and presence. 

"And Julie, who is an absolute musical theatre animal and projected so much warmth, and skill, and professionalism, and because I knew I wanted to be am actor for the rest of my life, I would just sit and like a sponge soak in everything i could get from them and conatslt be trying to manoieve ,my way closer to them so I could eavesdrop on what they were saying. I just wanted to abandon every single word because I thought they were both just so extraordinarily talented. And they are, look at them!

"Christopher Plummer wins Oscars at the age of 84, I mean excuse me, how many people do that?", he laughs. "It's almost to the point of being slightly irritating! He's gotten even better, and you think c'mon Christopher, give someone else a break," he says with a chuckle. But he's a wonderful actor.

"And Julie. Julie's been a star since she was nine years old. It's the most astonishing kind of career of anybody I can think of."

I say the obvious to Nicholas: who doesn't watch 'The Sound Of Music' when it's on TV? Does Nicholas, too?

"I like to watch it on Blu-Ray or DVD. I don't like to watch it when it's on commercial television because of the ads. I love watching it on the big screen. Once every five years I love being invited to a screening somewhere, where it's in a big cinema, state of the art sound, on a huge screen… that's still to me a wonderful experience. If I am at home, I want to watch it on Blu-Ray. The quality of the new one that's just come out (the commermoartuve edition we are giving away, below!) is amazing. It's got interviews with Julie, and a documentary, and that's great, too. But it's just the sheer quality of it.

"Now that everyone's got the home theatre, you truly can recreate it exactly as it was intended when you saw it at the movies. It's kind of great because it's the real experience that the filmmakers wanted you to have. And that's the way I like to see it, too."

So, what's the movie Nicholas never fails to always watch when it's on TV?

"'Casablanca'. I am old softie at heart. I think Ingrid Bergman and Humphery Bogart and Claude Rains in that movie... that to me is kind of the perfect movie. '
The Sound of Music' is the perfect musical movie. But for just a love story, I think 'Casablanca' is superb. I never not watch it if I see it's on TV.

Robyn Nevin - acclaimed Australian actor, director, and former head of Sydney Theatre Company - has been Nicholas's partner since 1987, and I ask him if he's still 
Sydney residing?

"NSW. We live south of Sydney, in the countryside. We were in Sydney for a long time, and of course we work in Sydney, but we have a private nest in the middle of nowhere in the Southern Highlands. It's lovely down there."

What in all his years with Robyn, what has he found to be the most endearing characteristics about Australians?

"I think there's an honesty about the work. I mean, I love working here in the film business and in the theatre, but especially in the film business because I think there's a kind of no nonsense approach where you just get on with it and just do it. And I really like that. And I really like the Australian sense of humour, and the fact that they don't mind sending themselves up a bit, and they don't take themselves all that seriously. And I think it's a really nice balance, and yet I mean, they do extremely good work - I mean look at the films that are made here, the films are absolutely wonderful. So I think that it's kind of the quality of the personality of the country.

"I also like the fact, and I say this as an American, because I think America has something to learn from Australia, I think Australia is much better than a lot of places, well much better than America anyway, in the kind of socially feeling a sense of responbility of making sure that everybody is looked after, in the sense that everybody's got healthcare, everybody can get a pension when they are elderly, nobody's going to starve, nobody's going to be made bankrupt if they get ill and have to go to hospital, and I just think that those are the signs of a really good society. I think it's a terrific country and I am very happy and proud that I live here and have been welcomed here and that now it's my base."

And with that, Nicholas adds: "Give my best to your twins. Tell them Friedrich says hello, and hopes they enjoy the film the next time they watch it."

What a sweetheart Nicholas is.

And now, how to win a copy of the commemorative DVD, below:

- Follow me on Instagram and Twitter if you are on the social media platforms. Also, share 'The Sound of Music' prize photo on my @josiegags Instagram page by taking a screenshot of it, then using these hashtags: #regram #josiesjuice #competitions #giveaways #prizes #TheSoundOfMusic

- Share this link on your Facebook wall

- Comment below on why you'd like to win this DVD (and which format you'd like - DVD or Blue-Ray) AND email me at josiegags@optusnet.com.au so I can contact you in case you are a winner (so many people forget this step and don't enter a valid email address below, and I spend lots of time trying to track you down, or simply give the prize to the next person - not fun for anyone!)

(If you find it hard to comment below because your device won't let you - sometimes that happens on an iPhone, for example - simply send me your entry and address via email at josiegags@optusnet.com.au).

*Competition is open to Australian residents only.

Look! A bonus video right here:

Nicholas as he appeared in 'The Sound Of Music'

Nicholas Hammond today

Sunday 26 April 2015

Angus Hawley - Antonia Kidman's Former Husband - Dies, Age 45

Angus Hawley, former husband of Antonia Kidman, has passed away suddenly in New York. He was age 45. It is understood he had a heart attack.

Angus was married to Antonia Kidman for 11 years, they had four children together: two daughters, Lucia (born 1998) and Sybella (born 2007); and two sons, Hamish (born 2001) and James (born 2003).
Josie's Juice met Lucia, with Antonia, at the ASTRAs last month in Sydney. The close mother and daughter duo had travelled from Singapore to attend the special anniversary event for the ASTRAs, and Antonia revealed it was Lucia's first red carpet.
Hawley and Kidman married in 1996 and split in 2007. Both have since remarried – Hawley to Prue Fisher, a former nanny from Orange and now a Paddington boutique owner. And Antonia to Craig Marran, which whom she has had two children.
Angus and Antonia share custody of their four children, although they reside primarily with their mother Antonia in Singapore, while Angus was living in Sydney.
Josie's Juice met Antonia and Angus around 15 years ago, at a magazine party in Sydney.
Rest in peace, Angus. So incredibly sad for all involved.


Phillip Hawley, the brother of Angus, has released a statement on behalf of the family saying: “We confirm that Angus Hawley has suddenly and very unexpectedly died of a suspected heart attack whilst in New York attending a conference.
“There are no further details at this time as it only occurred last night, our time. The family request the media please respect their privacy at this very sad time.”