Laurence Boxhall isn’t used to being himself on TV, but he is embracing it since landing the Gen Z team captain role on Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation.
UK-born Boxhall is more at home playing characters on ABC shows such as Ronny Chieng: International Student and Worst Year of My Life. But producers were impressed with his knowledge after a routine audition for the Nine series, prompting him to toss aside script experience and be himself, alongside seasoned professionals.
“Initially it was a huge shift, because I’ve never been myself before. It’s always character work, back story and the lines are always given to me!” he tells TV Tonight.
“So it’s been bizarre being myself, but I guess that’s why they hired me, and not doing a ‘version of Lawrence.’
“Andy (Lee) & Robyn (Butler) have been doing this for ages, and even previously Josh had a stand-up career. But I’ve never done that sort of stuff, so it’s been a huge learning curve.
“But everyone has looked after me so well and acknowledged that this is an entirely different kettle of fish for me.”
Performing has always been in Boxhall’s blood, from school productions in the UK to Australian professional work. He moved to Adelaide in 2006, and in recent years has been based in either Sydney or Melbourne.
“I thought the only other alternative in my 7 year old mind was ‘You’re either on stage or in a desk job.’ I didn’t think I would be any good at a desk job but pretending to be other people would be a fun career. I stuck with it, doing a play at school and I remember saying to my parents. ‘This is what I want to do!’
“I never gave up on it and kept doing school productions, and one thing led to another. Worst Year of My Life came around and I got an agent. It’s been ticking along since then.”
But despite being the first Gen Z captain for the Shaun Micallef-hosted show, Boxhall admits it isn’t necessarily his specialty.
“I actually struggle when it comes to questions about my generation a lot. I don’t have Instagram or Twitter or anything like that. So there is a segment of my generation that I don’t have access to. And my parents raised me on ‘old music,'” he recalls.
Tonight Boxhall is joined by his mother, Eve, in the first”family” edition of the rebooted show for Nine.
“I hadn’t watched it when it was initially out, but I was always aware of it. So I did my research and for everyone who was on it prior, it did good things for them,” he says.
Also appearing are Robyn Butler’s husband Wayne Hope, Andy Lee’s sister Alex Miles.
7:30pm Mondays on Nine.