‘I slept with it at night': Brendan Cowell on the skateboard he lost and the beauty of boxing gloves

For his new book, Brendan Cowell returned home. Plum, Cowell’s second novel, is set in Cronulla, the Sydney suburb he grew up in. It tells the story of Peter “The Plum” Lum, a 48-year-old ex-NRL player who is at a crisis point in life. Like much of Cowell’s work, it’s an examination of Australian masculinity and what it takes to be a decent human being.

Since his Cronulla days, Cowell has worked both in Australia and in London across film, TV and theatre. He penned the Belvoir St Theatre production Ruben Guthrie, later adapting it for the screen, and starred in and wrote for the acclaimed TV series Love My Way. A few years back you may have spotted him in Game of Thrones, and recently he’s been busy voicing a role in the upcoming Avatar sequel, set for release in 2022.

Related: ‘It helps disguise me’: Bryan Brown on getting recognised, stolen cars and identifying with objects

The actor-slash-writer has a prized memento from his time working on that Hollywood blockbuster: a Māori patu (a type of jade club) given to him by director James Cameron. Here he explains why that gift feels so significant, as well as the story of a few other cherished personal belongings.

What I’d save from my house in a fire

I’d grab a small wooden block that I’ve had since I was seven and take everywhere with me. My nan gave me this innocuous, thin wooden block and I wrote “Brendan Cowell’s Block” on it, and for some reason it gives me power. Possibly because it makes me think of [my nan] Ettie Claire and how mad and fun she was, and how she was always saying how I wasn’t famous enough and should be in the paper more.

I’d also bring the aqua crochet blanket that I’ve had with me since I was five. God, have I grown up yet? But honestly, I’d probably grab my Māori patu first, which is a short-handled club made of jade stone that I have hanging above my work desk. James Cameron gave it to me when I started on Avatar and it’s really cool. We share the same birthday and my family had flown over to New Zealand then, so they were there when he gave it to me at dinner. Warrior strength.

My most useful object

My Cleto Reyes red 16 oz boxing gloves. The height of Mexican craftsmanship, these sleek, goatskin leather things are light but pack a punch. I bought these in London, where I spent four years training three days a week at Clay O’Shea’s boxing gym in Westbourne Park. I have incredible memories learning from him. Boxing and that club was a big reason why I did well in the UK. I had those geezers around me and it was a sort of family.

Boxing is the great equaliser. Everybody is the same in the ring, the loneliest place in the world. And it’s just got so little to do with hitting and thuggery; it’s all about balance, and style beats style. You can do well against one person and lose to the next. Then the one you beat will beat the one you lost to. It’s fascinating and it’s a beautiful thing to have at the centre of your life. And it’s useful to know how to box because if you can box then for some reason you don’t end up getting in many fights, and that is a godsend for me these days.

The item I most regret losing

When I was 14, I was psycho for skateboarding. Powell Peralta was life and after much begging and some shifts on the paper run, I’d gathered enough coin to buy myself a Mike Caballero deck with Indy trucks and Cockroach wheels. Clear grip tape. The board was sick and it was gnarly and I slept with it at night. Stroking it. Seriously, there are photos of me sleeping with this board. At a party in year 9, I was distracted by this girl Nicole I was chasing, so I left the board in the garage and went on a journey with her down this incline to the water. When I came back up some knob had swiped it. It hurt a lot.

I also took a Moleskine book backpacking with me in 2001 and over the three months, I wrote a poem in it every day. About wherever we woke up or the train ride or the crazy night we just had. I left that on the Eurostar somewhere between Barcelona and Berlin. I wish I could read those poems out in a pub now and see who was in there. Then ride home on my skateboard.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

I Tried Makeup By Mario's "Lip Flip" Makeup Hack, and I'm Never Going to go Back to My Old Ways

Makeup By Mario shared his hack for faking a “lip flip” procedure with lip liner. The makeup trick makes lips look fuller and more lifted in the center. All you ... Read more »

Mies kieltäytyi jatkuvasti hotellihuoneensa siivouksesta: Näin kuvottava näky henkilökuntaa odotti kuukauden vierailun jälkeen

© Reuters Hotellivieras jätti huoneensa kaameaan kuntoon Kiinassa. Kuukauden hotellissa asunut vieras jätti jälkeensä kasoittain roskaa, kertoo uutistoimisto Reuters. Mangshin kaupungissa lokakuussa kuvatulla videolla näkyy miehen huoneeseen jättämät noutoruokaroskat, muovipussit, ... Read more »

Laatste kans voor Solskjaer tegen Tottenham?

Hoe lang blijft trainer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer nog in het zadel zitten bij Manchester United? Dat is de grote vraag die vrijwel de hele voetbalwereld bezighoudt na het desastreus verlopen ... Read more »

‘Ik neem de rol aan die de muziek van me vraagt'

De repetitie duurt een uurtje langer vandaag, en’s avonds is er nog een extra sessie met solisten in het RCO House van het Concertgebou workest. Het Program Whammy Diligent Maxim ... Read more »

The five things you should never say on a dating app

“A key member of the Monster Raving Loony Party? Really?” (Getty Images) Dating apps are pretty much the only way to meet nowadays – and during lockdown, they proved a ... Read more »

Supporterssjaaltjes, nieuwtalent en ruimtelijke illusies

Supporterssjaal voor kunstminnaar In 1966 kregentwaalf Nederlandse kunstenaars de opdracht een lijn te trekken langs eenliniaal. De lijn mocht 50 cm zijn, getekend met een L & C Hardtmuth Koh-I-Noor ... Read more »

‘Jongeren van nu denken veel complexer en vrijer over seksualiteit'

Dio (Dionisio Matthias) The worst er zicht baarmee. Steeds als hij nu helemaal denkt tebegrijpenhoehedendaagseideeënovergenderenseksualiteit met elkaar samenhangen, brengen zijn vrienden Diederik (Diederik Kreike) en Smita (Smita James) een nieuwe ... Read more »

This High-Rep, No-Kit Leg Workout Comes With a Challenging Twist

Photo credit: kovaciclea – Getty Images With a combination of steady grinders and dynamic jumps, this high-rep leg day doesn’t just build explosive power, but its sinister twist scorches through ... Read more »

The 'dark patterns' fuelling the nation's fast fashion online shopping addiction

Shein has been named the ‘most manipulative’ fast fashion website – Instagram.com/sheinofficial For a fashion editor, I am quite a procrastinator when it comes to buying clothes for myself. It’s ... Read more »

“Eencontrabas is schor, wiebelig enemotion eel”

“Weetjewa arom een ​​contrabassist altijd een boormachine bij zich heeft?”, Vraagt ​​contrabassiste Sasha Witteveen (18) also introduces the genre of bassist. Je begint al na te denken over gaatjes in ... Read more »

Raadselachtige'selfies' van fotograaf Marcel Bascoulard

photography Marcel Bascoulard – Mysterious selfie. T / m 13 nov bij Galerie Hamer, Amsterdam. Inl: galeriehamer.nl ●●●●●● Het leven van de Franse fotograaf (en begenadigd tekenaar) Marcel Bascoulard (1913-1978) ... Read more »

Ons eeuwige gevoel van verlies bezongen

Klassiek Musika Temprana melancholia ●●●●● Al in het eerste lied wordt de toon gezet voor het album melancholia van Música Temprana: de verteller zal zich wassen in de baden van ... Read more »

Ocean Rebellion activist dresses up as Boris Johnson and sets fire to prop ship in Glasgow ahead of COP26

(Getty Images) A campaigner from the group Ocean Rebellion dressed up as Boris Johnson and set fire to a fake ship in Glasgow on Wednesday morning to highlight the destruction ... Read more »

De'female gaze'van schilderes Artemisia Gentileschi

het mogelijk om de kunst van barokschilder Artemisia Gentileschi feministisch te noemen? Die vraag wordt vaker gesteld nu haar werk de laatste paar jaar aan belangstelling wint, en die we ... Read more »

Lana Del Rey is haareigen concurrent

pop Lana del Rey Blue banister ●●●●● De Amerikaanse zangeres Lana Del Rey is haareigen concurrent. Narijke album zoals Norman Fucking Rockwell! (2019) en Country club chemtrails (2021), volgt het ... Read more »

Celebrities love them and we all want them - here's why crystals are having a moment

Crystals are having a moment right now. (Getty Images) Crystals are officially having a moment. It used to be that the power of rose quartz et al was something you ... Read more »

“In Victor IV, Samurai Dai Vokto met Penseal, Penn En Inkto.”

Op slag verliefd werd Ina Munck (88) toen ze op een mooie septemberdag in 1969 op zijn woonboot in Amsterdam kennismaakte met de Amerikaansekunstenaar Walter Carl Glück. Gevoelens waar ze ... Read more »

Joyce DiDonato/Craig Terry review – thoughtful programme of panache and fierce beauty

Joyce DiDonato’s Barbican recital with Craig Terry took its name, In My Solitude, from a Duke Ellington song that featured in its second half. Programmed with great care, the evening ... Read more »

Quant review – Sadie Frost's starry fashion doc on miniskirt queen

Here is a fashion documentary celebrating designer Mary Quant as a trailblazing fashion rebel and icon of the swinging 1960s. (Coming of fashion age in the 90s, I always associated ... Read more »

You can now buy a huge 2kg box of Heroes

You can now buy a huge 2kg box of Heroes. (Amazon) Yahoo Life's editors are committed to independently selecting wonderful products at great prices for you. We may receive a ... Read more »

Grandparents build incredible hobbit shed using £2.99 charity shop bargains

A couple have build an incredible hobbit house for their grandchildren to play in. (Latestdeals.co.uk) A couple have transformed a run down shed into a magical hobbit house for their ... Read more »

Hotellivieras avasi huoneensa verhot ensi kertaa vierailunsa aikana – tätä näkyä nainen ei taatusti odottanut!

© Reuters Hotellivieras halusi tarkistaa päivän sään, mutta verhojen takaa paljastuikin jotain muuta kuin pilvetön taivas. Kiinalaishotellin vieras ajatteli tarkistaa päivän sään avaamalla ensi kertaa hotellihuoneensa verhot vierailunsa aikana. Verhojen ... Read more »

Gwyneth Paltrow reveals how she 'nearly died' twice

Watch: Gwyneth Paltrow 'almost died' giving birth to Apple Giving birth is supposed to be a joyous – if somewhat painful – experience. But for A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow, it was ... Read more »

5 ultimate advent calendars for men, from grooming gifts to beer

Best advent calendars for men, from grooming products to alcohol. (Liberty London) Yahoo Life's editors are committed to independently selecting wonderful products at great prices for you. We may receive ... Read more »

Last-minute Halloween costumes for kids, with prices from just £9

In need of a Halloween costume? Here’s where to shop. (Getty Images) Yahoo Life's editors are committed to independently selecting wonderful products at great prices for you. We may receive ... Read more »

The beauty trick that always makes Adele's eye makeup look so good

Photo credit: Adele/@adele Adele’s comeback to the world of music has been nothing short of iconic. After teasing fans with the number ‘30’ mysteriously projected onto landmarks around the globe, ... Read more »

The Dutch government is considering restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19

As the Netherlands faces winter and an increase in coronavirus infections, the Dutch government and the outbreak control team (OMT) are discussing options for (re) introducing restrictions at a press ... Read more »

“Wiew asdie dirigent?” “Bernard Haitink!”

Op een zaterdagmorgen fiets ik naar het Amsterdams Stadsarchief voor een Sweelinck-concert van een ensemble uithet Concertgebou workest. De zeventiende-eeuwse muziek blijkt fris als een hoentje en mooi als een ... Read more »

Rebel Wilson Shares Why The Thought of Fertility Struggles Drove Weight Loss

Rebel Wilson, 41, just opened up about her fertility concerns. The actress shared how weight loss was a driver of her “Year of Health” But, Rebel says she's feeling great ... Read more »

Daniela Elser: Buckingham Palace shrouded in secrecy amid Queen's health drama

OPINION: After the events of the past two years, you’d think that Buckingham Palace’s lieutenants would be deft, practised hands in a crisis. That they would be used to getting ... Read more »

Puppy training turns lockdown dog from scamp into star

An animal lover whose puppy grew from a scamp into a star through training says pooches need school like all teen tearaways, after shocking figures showed a 740% rise in ... Read more »

‘The Warm Hug Of Coming Home': How To Decorate With Happiness

With the clocks about to go forward and the possibility of another winter lockdown looming, it’s more important than ever to inject joy into our homes. When we say ‘joy’ ... Read more »

This 5-Minute Workout Helps You Feel Your Best, Without The Toxic Diet

You’re reading Move, the nudge we need to get active, however makes us happiest and healthiest. We all know that being overweight has knock-on health implications and belly fat in ... Read more »

Australia did a good job in the face of Covid. Let's apply that energy to other public health problems

Photograph: Jaimi Joy/Reuters As the pandemic appears to be in decline, with cases dropping in Australia and worldwide infections appearing to slowly decrease, it is tempting to cry victory and ... Read more »

Dutch gifts and inheritance tax

Anyone who lives or has lived in the Netherlands may be liable for Dutch gifts and inheritance taxes. In this article, Taxsight explains how Dutch gifts and inheritance tax apply. ... Read more »

Angelina Jolie's hair extensions at the Eternals premiere go viral on the internet for making her mane look choppy and unkempt

Angelina Jolie had a beauty blunder at the Eternals premiere in Rome, Italy. Jolie, who plays Thena in the movie, attended a screening of the film at the 2021 Rome ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic