Eddie Perfect: 'I've always found it easier to relate to women'
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Eddie Perfect: 'I've always found it easier to relate to women'

Occupation Musician and actor. Age 41. Relationship status Married. Best known for Playing Mick Holland in Offspring. Currently Preparing Beetlejuice for its Broadway debut.

"I’ve always found it easier to relate to women. They’re more emotionally intelligent."

"I’ve always found it easier to relate to women. They’re more emotionally intelligent."Credit:Julian Kingma

My mum has always been, and still is, a creative, artistic soul. As a child, my first passion was visual art and all the way through high school it was what I wanted to go into. She was a huge supporter of that dream. If I hadn't had that support, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing.

My dad was a £10 Pom. He and his family emigrated when he was seven and he embraced Australia quite passionately. Out of all his brothers and sisters, he's the only one with an Australian accent.

Having Perfect as a surname wasn't a pro or a con, it just was. It certainly made people stop and react – it still does – but there weren't a huge amount of jokes aside from my high school PE teacher calling me "not so Perfect", which he thought was hilarious. It sounds like a stage name that someone would make up for themselves, but I'm as far away from the kind of personality that would give myself the name "Perfect" as you can get!

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I went to an all-boys high school and, as a consequence, I was nervous around girls. I knew enough about them from having two sisters [Anna and Celeste] that they were human beings – a memo I don't think reached a lot of the boys I studied with – but there was still a mystery surrounding these incredible, terrifying and wonderful creatures.

My school was predominantly focused on sport so I had to go outside it to find my people. My parents enrolled me in a Melbourne a cappella choir which was amazing. It was a mix of boys and girls my age and I made lifelong friends there, including Alicia Gardiner, who plays Kim in Offspring. I've known her since I was 13 or 14 and we used to busk in the South Melbourne Market.

I've always found it easier to relate to women. They're much more emotionally intelligent, open and communicative. I found boys scary for that reason – I cannot relate to the quiet, stoic, shut down, not-interested-in talking-about-themselves male. I found men suffocating and limited in that kind of way. All my closest friends back then were female, and still are.

Whenever I've been single, which hasn't been for a long time, I've always had a crush that makes life interesting. Out of the many I've had, 85 per cent were unrequited, and while I don't remember my first crush, I do remember my first kiss. It was at a party when I was 15 or 16. I didn't know who the girl was, it was an "I've got to tick this one off the list" situation. I was pretty bad at it, but the sense of achievement was high!

I met my wife, Lucy, on the dance floor of Melbourne's Revolver nightclub in January 2006 at 8am, which gives you an indication of the night I'd had! I'm normally pretty shy around girls but I just knew I had to talk to her, so I went up and said "hi" and started chatting. She was stunningly beautiful, but also very funny, very smart and very dry.

We didn't see one another for months after that. I was touring, in and out of the country, so we courted via email. I'd spend hours crafting emails.

We had our engagement party while I was doing Shane Warne: The Musical and between the two of us we had 350 people there. Given these numbers, our wedding was looking to be really expensive and stressful. So we came up with the idea of running away to New York to get married, which we did in 2011 in Central Park. It was really nice to spend the day with my favourite person and not feel the responsibility and pressure to take care of hundreds of other people.

Becoming a father to my two girls, Kitty and Lottie, has made me way more efficient. I get way more writing done. Maybe it's something about the economics of dropping a child at childcare, knowing that it's costing you $80 for a day and knowing when you go back home that you have to write $80 work of material, otherwise you're in debt!

When Offspring started in 2010, I had no idea how successful it would be. I loved that women were front and centre as the main characters. The audience was women and it was written, directed and produced by women. Thankfully it was as much fun to make as it was to watch.

It hasn't been easy to uproot our family and move [to New York for Beetlejuice, for which Perfect has written music and lyrics], but Lucy has been really supportive. She knows that it has been my absolute dream. I would not be where I am had she not told me to buy the ticket. It's all her.

Beetlejuice debuts on Broadway in April.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale February 10.

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