Two of Us with creative friends Ian Darling, a documentary filmmaker, and comedian Greg Fleet

Ian Darling and Greg Fleet: “I didn’t have the courage to be an actor – I lived that life through Greg.”

The headmaster told Ian, “This new kid’s dad has just committed suicide. Look after him.” He was incredibly friendly and nice. He came from a really established family – there were so many things expected of him that no one would have dreamt of for me. My family was such a disaster, I could have said to my mother, “After school, I’m going to South Africa to become a mercenary,” and she would have said, “No worries.” We clicked through drama. We’d stay up late, improvising poems or lying onstage in the school theatre telling stories. It was like a love affair; that intensity, that closeness. When I look back at all those years after school, as a drug addict and a complete mess of a human being, I often wonder why Ian stuck with me. But I guess when things got weird, he remembered that kid. After school, we lost touch: he did uni and got into finance; I was expelled from the National Institute of Dramatic Art and got into drugs. Then we ran into each other on Collins Street in Melbourne. I was in op-shop clothes, probably going into withdrawal, completely broke. He was wearing this gorgeous suit, looking like a million bucks. We were both jealous of each other. I’m thinking, “God! He probably spends more on lunch than I do in a week!” And he’s thinking, “He’s living this wonderful bohemian artist’s life.”

Two of Us with creative friends Ian Darling, a documentary filmmaker, and comedian Greg Fleet

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