In 1994, Guy Pearce slipped into a frock and pair of high heels for the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and in doing so, changed his career forever.
By doing the same thing for the same role in the new stage version, it looks likely that Daniel Scott is about to see his career change in very similar ways.
Having spent the past few years playing cameo and chorus roles on stage, slipping into the dual personas of bitchy scene queen Adam and his drag alter-ego Felicia Jolly-Goodfellow in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert has propelled Scott into leading man status -“ even if he is wearing high heels for most of the time.
Not that Scott seems to have any complaints. He has recently starred as Neil Tennant in Dusty -“ the Original Pop Diva and as Johnny O’Keefe in a revival of Shout!, but now he is sitting in his dressing room at the Lyric Theatre, chatting with the Star while waiting for a pair of pencil-heeled stiletto heels to arrive.
Scott admits, a little anxiously, that once the new pumps arrive, he has only a matter of days to master how to dance in them before the show makes its world premiere on Saturday.
But it seems the 29-year-old actor has a good eye and picked up tips from his years on Sydney’s gay scene as both a barman and a former party boy.
It is quite ironic that of all the people who should get to play Felicia, it is me, he says. I have known a number of drag queens for years and they have helped me and inspired me along the way, but I always said drag has never really been my thing.
I did drag a couple of times before, once for a charity event and for someone’s birthday, but that really was it. But I have always watched to see how they do it.
When we started work on Priscilla, someone came in to show the cast how to walk in heels. I surprised myself as I found it really quite easy -“ it is all a matter of good balance.
As Adam-Felicia in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Scott plays the fiery, bitchy one of the trio of gender benders crossing the country as they head to a gig in Alice Springs.
Scott sashays across the stage in a number of fancy frocks, fires out a succession of bitchy one-liners, and makes the best entrance in the show for his Mardi Gras-style production number of the Bananarama dance classic, Venus.
But Sydney-born Scott insists that his character is more than just high heels and stinging put-downs.
I have taken little bits of all the Adams I have known from the past 15 years of my own life, Scott says.
Being a gay man myself, I remember coming out and going on my journey. All the people I have met who are like Adam are incredibly insecure, not sure who they are and trying to figure everything out.
Adam is still figuring out his identity and persona, and we show him on that journey until he gets to a point of realisation and then he does make a change. He is very much at a point where he is saying, -˜You must accept me like this’.
I think it is interesting that I don’t tuck at all in the show – it is all done with codpieces and skirts. And that is Adam -“ he is very much, -˜I am a boy in a wig and a dress and I am hot’!
With a knock on his dressing room door, it seems the new high heels have finally arrived.
Before disappearing into the wardrobe department, Scott offers one final insight into his character, He might do all the showgirl stuff, but you might still be at Manacle at 10 early on a Monday morning! I think we have all been a bit like Adam.
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert makes its world premiere on Saturday, 7 October at the Lyric Theatre. Bookings on 1300 796 330 or at the Ticketmaster website.