Mia Freedman: “There’s a lot more to Samuel Johnson than being an actor.”

Samuel Johnson has two sisters and one Gold Logie.

He also has some frozen sperm sitting in a freezer at a clinic somewhere in Melbourne.

We’ll get to the sperm – and that Logie moment –  later.

Samuel Johnson has also had a lot of personal tragedy and hardship in his life. A lot more than you probably realise. Depending on your age, you might know Sam from his breakout role on the hit TV show The Secret Life Of Us which was the hottest thing in Australia from 2001-2005.

He was the star and he shone very very brightly.

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It wasn’t his first acting gig – he was discovered when he performed in a school play at age 14 and he got the first 20 jobs he went for. If you know anything about acting, you’ll be suitably impressed and you should be.

Because that never happens.

Soon, he was earning enough to pay his own school fees and help support his family who started a second hand book business, the last remaining shop is still owned by his sister Connie who lives in Canberra.

Sam had roles in all the iconic shows of the 90s, Home and Away, Blue Heelers, Halifax FP and Stingers.

 

But The Secret Life Of Us was the big one, the one that made him next level famous.

And that kind of fame brings it’s own issues. It’s not all parties, money and accolades.

Battles with drugs and alcohol sucked up a lot of Sam 20’s and some of his 30’s. He was even arrested in 2007 for getting into a brawl outside a casino.

A year or so before that, his girlfriend Lainie committed suicide and it wasn’t even the first time Sam had to deal with someone he loved taking their own life – his mother had died the same way when he was just a toddler.

How does anyone recover from that once let alone twice? Sam’s answers to that question in this interview left me almost speechless – almost. His view of the world is truly unlike anyone I’ve ever met.

He was just 10 years old when his big sister Connie was diagnosed with cancer for the first time and it was the return of that cancer a few years ago that changed both of their lives – and the lives of hundreds of thousands of other women who have become part of the Extraordinary Love Your Sister village – the villagers they call themselves.

Sam and Connie and all the villagers have  All for the better at a time when many people would assume it would have caused darkness to descend.

It didn’t. And it still hasn’t, despite Connie being in the final stages of her life.

I’ll admit, on a personal level, I’ve been a bit scared of Sam – we talk about that during the interview. But having spent an hour with him up close and personal in our podcast studio in Melbourne, I’m not scared anymore.

I’m a lot of things – inspired, invigorated, interested –  but not scared.

This man is……well, just listen.

Check them out at Love Your Sister

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