Kath and Kim stars Gina Riley and Peter Rowsthorn.
Kath and Kim stars Gina Riley and Peter Rowsthorn.

Kath & Kim star’s casting bombshell

Kath & Kim star Peter Rowsthorn has dropped a casting bombshell.

Rowsthorn, who played Brett Craig on the series, spoke to news.com.au yesterday about his partnership with Gumtree for the Gummie Support Network (more about that later).

But he also happily answered some Kath & Kim questions and one of his answers blew us away.

According to IMDB, comedian Russell Gilbert was very close to landing the role of Brett, but that's incorrect according to Rowsthorn.

"That's not true, it was actually Marty Sheargold," Rowsthorn said. "It was between him and I in the end."

Sheargold is best known as one of the stars on Have You Been Paying Attention? and as a co-host of Nova's national drive show Kate, Tim and Marty.

Peter Rowsthorn, Gina Riley and Jane Turner.
Peter Rowsthorn, Gina Riley and Jane Turner.

 

Marty Sheargold almost played Brett Craig.
Marty Sheargold almost played Brett Craig.

"The ABC didn't want a comic actor to do it; they wanted a proper actor to do Brett," Rowsthorn told news.com.au. "But the girls really wanted to use either me or Marty.

"I'd worked with Gina (Riley) and Jane (Turner) a lot since the '80s. They knew I was easy to work with and that I'd do what they told me.

"They did an audition process and basically said no to anyone that looked like a real actor and ended up getting down to me and Marty, and I got it."

News.com.au reached out to Sheargold who said in response: "I love sliding door moments, the 'what could've beens' in life. Pete is such a brilliant comic I was flattered to be part of the conversation. He was a huge part of the show's success and absolutely smashed that role."

Here are some other Kath & Kim facts Rowsthorn revealed.

FAMOUS GUEST STARS

Some very big names appeared on Kath & Kim over the years including Eric Bana, Michael Buble, Shane Warne and Kylie Minogue.

But the one that Rowsthorn was most starstruck by was Barry Humphries.

"He was my idol," the comedian told news.com.au. "I saw him when I was 14 and he was the reason I wanted to do comedy.

"I got all nervous and didn't know how to speak to him when he was on. But I was surprised how insecure he was in terms of, 'Was that OK? Did I do that the right way? Was that funny?' He was really strange like that."

Barry Humphries on set.
Barry Humphries on set.

GETTING NUDE

There were several nude scenes in Kath & Kim but only the male actors showed their actual derrières on camera.

"Glenn and I used our natural arses but they (Jane Turner and Gina Riley) used 'stunt bums,'" Rowsthorn said. "Glenn will get his arse out for anything, he loves getting his arse out.

"We both had to have our penises and testicles put inside a pouch which was stuck to our bodies. I remember I had to do a nude scene where I was coming in the back door nude. There was a little bridge nearby and a crowd gathered and could see in the backyard as I was standing nude with my d**k and balls in a pouch and they were cheering. There was no sheet to cover me, nothing - just humiliation."

 

Jane Turner, Peter Rowsthorn and Glenn Robbins.
Jane Turner, Peter Rowsthorn and Glenn Robbins.

THE TRUTH ABOUT CUJO

"There was more than one Cujo," Rowsthorn revealed about Brett's pooch. "Some Cujos could do stuff and others couldn't do anything.

"By the end of the second series we managed to settle on one Cujo because it had a really big head and would stay still."

Rowsthorn added: "There's a horribly sad story attached to Cujo but I won't tell you, it's awful."

 

Peter Rowsthorn with Cujo.
Peter Rowsthorn with Cujo.

FILMING INSIDE HARVEY NORMAN

Brett Craig worked at the fictional store Computer City which was actually filmed inside the Harvey Norman store at Southland shopping centre.

"Because we were on the ABC, all the signage had to be changed to Computer City because it wasn't allowed to be a real shop," Rowsthorn said. "That was one of the reasons we went to Channel 7 in the end. It was a pain in the arse.

"We were going to Harvey Norman at about 7 in the morning and we'd be there even after they opened. I had people come up to me because I had a badge on but they didn't realise it was a Computer City badge. They'd ask for help and I'd have to tell them, 'I'm not actually working here, I'm filming a scene.'"

As the show's popularity grew, security guards were hired for the actors to escort them through the shopping centre.

"We had four security guards but no one was coming near us, no one cared," Rowsthorn laughed.

Brett inside Computer City.
Brett inside Computer City.

BEING BRETT PAID BIG BUCKS

One of the main sources of income for a comedian in Australia is corporate gigs and Rowsthorn cleaned up thanks to his role in Kath & Kim.

"No one else from Kath & Kim does them (corporate gigs) except me," he told news.com.au. "They all turn it down.

"I remember I did a really good corporate gig at Hamilton Island. They wanted someone from the cast but no one else would do it apart from me.

"I had to do three minutes so I just converted some stand up and did it as Brett. The host said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, does everyone know the show Kath & Kim?' They went bananas thinking Kath and Kim were going to come out. And then he said, 'We've got one of the men from Kath & Kim,' and they all thought it was Kel. And then they announced it was me," Rowsthorn laughed.

"I was the last cab off the rank in terms of popularity but I still to this day get work out of it."

Kath & Kim is available to stream on Netflix.
Kath & Kim is available to stream on Netflix.

LIFE AFTER KATH AND KIM

Life has been a bit tough of late for Rowsthorn.

"Corporate gigs were my bread and butter and I lost my career due to the pandemic," the comedian told news.com.au.

"It was Friday the 13th (March), I kid you not, that was the day it went pear-shaped for most comics. I was in Melbourne doing a lunchtime gig and by the time I got a plane to Perth, I had lost $50,000 worth of work which was a few months' work. And the following week the rest of my work for the year had gone.

"I got a fright and thought, 'F**k, what am I going to do because the bills don't stop,'" Rowsthorn said. "I went and got my truck driver's license … my brother's got a gold mine and he said I could drive one of the trucks."

But after a month, Rowsthorn landed a gig producing and hosting web programs for mining companies.

"I interview my friends (including Dave Hughes, Glenn Robbins, Fiona O'Loughlin) from my study and it gets beamed straight into mining camps and the miners have to sign on to watch and they can only watch it once," he said.

"Everyone gets paid to go on it and I get paid to produce it. So I've sort of got my career back again and I don't have to drive a truck, not that I have an aversion to driving a truck. I may still have to get in one, who knows."

Rowsthorn is also working with Gumtree on the Gummie Support Network which is an initiative designed to bring together those in need of essential items and services amid the pandemic with those able to provide them.

"I was helping a couple of people in my neighbourhood and I stumbled across #LocalLegends and I thought it was a really good idea," Rowsthorn told news.com.au.

Peter Rowsthorn helping out a neighbour as part of Gumtree’s #LocalLegends.
Peter Rowsthorn helping out a neighbour as part of Gumtree’s #LocalLegends.

"I live in an area full of old people and they all want to talk to you, which is nice. A lot of them also needed help doing things and I thought it was a good idea to put it out there, essentially put an ad online.

"It's good if you want to help people out in your local area and it's just a nice thing to have amid these strange times."

Originally published as Kath & Kim star's casting bombshell



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