|Beginning acting at the young age of seven, Martin Lewis
has had an interesting, varied career -- from his start in commercials,
his role as Sam in Five Mile Creek, his ballet career, and now as
an entrepreneur with varied projects, including the
Sour Grapes Film
This interview was conducted via e-mail June 2002.
Question: How did you get into the entertainment profession?
Lewis: I actually got plucked from a nativity scene one Christmas. I am not the slightest bit religious now, but at the time an agent had been attending the same congregation as me for years. [She] asked my mother and [me if we] would be interested in appearing in commercials. We agreed (or at least I think mum did... I was seven), and it began. I worked steadily from that age until I went to ballet school full time.
Question: What did you enjoy most about working on FMC?
Lewis: I was very young, but my fondest memories are of the horses, and spending a great deal of time with them. I rode, fed, groomed, cried and talked to them whenever I could. I was horse nuts! The cast were great to me and I think the greatest pleasure to me now is the very close contact I share with Louise [Caire Clark] and Liz [Burch]. I have spent time with Michael [Caton] and Kevin Dobson [as well,] and they have been really supportive and great friends.
Question: Any memorable anecdotes from the show?
Lewis: Jay [Kerr] was my hero while I was growing up during the series. Now that I am the age he was during the show, I can see exactly why we were buddies and I am really fond of him for spending the time he did with me. He was a very generous friend and taught me all the 'wrong' things in life in the best possible way. By mistake, I saw my first Playboy magazine in Jay's company. He showed me how to fix a meal to impress girls, he walked the Texan walk, talked the Texan talk, and was generally a superhero really.
Question: Were there any additional skills you needed to learn or unusual difficulties you had to overcome due to the fact that FMC was so historically accurate?
Lewis: I had to learn to ride horses, [so] I spent months and months in a dressage school in Sydney learning all the skills. I rode in the show during the week, rode on the weekends, cleaned saddles and bridles at night, and often stayed over at the wranglers' (horse hands) with their families to load up the horse trucks for the day's shooting, as well.
Question: Was there anyone in particular you were close to on the set?
Lewis: I had a childish crush on Louise in a huge way. I loved Jay like a superhero. I had a crush on Nicole [Kidman] when she came to the show, and I was very close to the horses... did I say that already?
Question: If FMC had continued, how would you have liked your character or the storyline to have evolved?
Lewis: Oh, God, I don't know. I guess an appealing scenario would have been to get married to Nicole Kidman and run away to the U.S. to star in the emergence of the talking pictures in Hollywood: "Young Sam and Annie to star in a series of best pictures and retire happy in Malibu."
Question: What are you doing now?
Lewis: At this time in my life I feel very happy and fortunate to be working on things that I want to do. In essence, I retired from my 'working life' as a performer about three years ago and started a new life chasing all the ideas and dreams that I wanted to do. I guess I am lucky because I have had about four careers, [which helps me] to really get a great view on stuff. I am currently working on a number of projects:
I consult at a strategic and development level for a rapidly growing company here in Australia that provides tax solutions to property investors. I have a good general knowledge in most aspects of the development process, covering legals, accounting, IT, sales, marketing, and pitching for business/joint ventures etc. It's a fantastic challenge. Just in the last few weeks we are getting a great deal of interest from very large companies. Very exciting.
Another [project is a] company that provides a wonderful and unique product to special events. I am helping them make distinctions in the very earliest stages of the business regarding cash flow, financial planning and general business plan writing. Great concept, and [it's] really great to help steer another venture to profit.
[There is also the] Sour Grapes festival. This is perhaps the most exciting thing moving at the moment. I have two very good buddies involved in this and we are all holding down fairly serious jobs [while] pulling together a festival in our lunch breaks and time that we should be sleeping! It is gaining a lot of interest and support, and looks to be shaping up as a real winner for the underdogs in the film industry. Lots and lots of fun.
[I am also working on] a children's TV program that's in its fourth year of development. This my baby, and the project I hold dearest to my heart. It has been purely creative to this point. [However] I have found some other distinctions with some well-regarded professionals [which have] altered the context of the story a little, and I think it's closer to being a reality. It is now based in the 3D space (which I used to work in as an animator), and I love the way it is coming together. Time will tell.
So [I'm] very busy, you might say!
Question: Of all your projects, acting or otherwise, which has been your favorite or most personally satisfying?
Lewis: That's a tough question, as I have had a string of projects over the past three years that have had varying degrees of success and reward. I guess my favourite is the children's show I am developing as it is very strong in the creativity area and allows me to use my imagination a great deal. I also have high hopes for its widespread acceptance, and as such have some very sound business planning and marketing ideas behind it. Fingers crossed.
Question: What hobbies do you enjoy?
Lewis: I love discussing creative opportunities with anyone that's excited by them. I love great dining and excellent red wine. I love finding time to try new hobbies (because I don't really have any).
Question: What is your favorite book?
Lewis: Jay gave me [my] first and only copy of The Princess Bride many years ago, and it has been a wonderful tale to read with girlfriends in my past. I also admire the info in Think and Grow Rich if seen not just as a money/capital making machine. There is some brilliant thinking in the book to create a detachment to the ever-powerful dollar!
Question: What is your favorite movie or play?
Lewis: The movies that spring to mind are Life is Beautiful, Monsters, Inc and Amelie.
Question: Favorite song, musician, or band?
Lewis: My listening taste is too varied to answer that. I enjoy better-known operas, ballet scores, dance music, love jazz, great music theatre tracks, virtually everything. . . and, yes, a lot of pop music, too.
Question: Favorite television show?
Lewis: I find it difficult to watch a lot of TV, as I regard a lot of it [as] absolute garbage. I love the writing in most of the Simpsons episodes. To be honest, I don't get a lot of time in front of the box. Too many people to see, too many things to do.
Question: If you weren't in the entertainment profession, what would you be doing now (what other career would you have pursued)?
Lewis: I kinda am pursuing another career, and I guess it's most accurate to label it as an entrepreneur. I simply love creating IP and growing business ideas.
Fans can contact Martin Lewis at (Please note: Mr. Lewis has asked for assistance maintaining and managing this account. Correspondence will not be completely private between the sender and Mr. Lewis.)