“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done”: Gyton Grantley opens up about fatherhood and his new role in Hand to God
By Jayden Forster
ACTOR Gyton Grantley says fatherhood is a very rewarding experience. But the former House Husbands star is not thrilled with joy when tackling one little task.
“Changing dirty nappies … no one likes changing nappies,” he laughed, when asked to name a fatherly task he tries to offload to his other half.
Grantley and his wife Alex Ortuso welcomed their first child, Rocco, in August 2016.
The 37-year-old said becoming a dad has changed his outlook on life.
“It’s a whole new world. He’s the light of my life and it’s just wonderful because you get to re-experience everything in the world all over again through their eyes.
“You get to see that amazement and wonder in his eyes and get to feel it again. It’s pretty awesome.”
Grantley says Rocco is a well-rounded little boy who can be “charming and flirtatious, boisterous, sweet as pie and a downright little turd” who loves watching The Wiggles and Giggle and Hoot.
Understandably, he is too young to watch his dad in shows such as Underbelly and House Husbands.
Young Rocco will also have to miss seeing Grantley in the upcoming production of Hand to God, a rude and hilarious play set to have its Australian premiere on February 24 at St Kilda’s Alex Theatre.
Grantley, a Logie and AFI Award-winning actor, plays Jason and Tyrone in the black comedy that sees a possessed sock puppet wreak havoc on the youth congregation at a Texas church.
The task of playing a human and a demonic sock puppet – the puppet’s name is Tyrone – is the “hardest thing [he’s] ever done”.
“I’m a male so I’m not very good at doing at doing two things at once as it is, so having to have two characters on stage is one thing, but this is so very different.
“While the puppet’s talking, my face as Jason is reacting and I may be reacting in fear, while talking in anger for the puppet. Then, while I’m talking back at the puppet, it has to be nodding and shaking its head and moving as a puppet.
“It’s a big challenge … I’m quietly, slowly going mad.”
The Broadway smash-hit, which scored five Tony Award nominations in 2015, is directed by Gary Abrahams and also stars Alison Whyte, Grant Piro, Jake Speer and Morgana O’Reilly.
The cast are into their third week of rehearsals, but Grantley has been practicing at home with a sock puppet for the last two months.
Having appeared in the 2012 production of South Pacific, Grantley said he would love to star on Broadway or The West End.
Hand to God opens at St Kilda’s Alex Theatre on February 22 for a strictly limited season. Details at handtogod.com.au.