Up Close with Rob Mills

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I loved "Sound of Music", "Mary Poppins" and "Oliver" as a kid, and all that sort of stuff. But I really hadn't put too much thought into it.

So I decided to audition for the role of "Johnny Casino" in 2005, and I was like, "I'll give it a go".

I was blown away at how welcoming everyone was, and what a really tight-nit sort of family the Musical Theatre industry is. Everyone is really supportive of one another, and really positive and it's fun! You get to sing and dance all the time, it's great!

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I always did drama in High School, and singing on stage in bands. So it was kind of like the acting and singing coming together. So for me it was just putting them all together. I took a lot of dance lessons, and singing lessons, and acting lessons, and [I] just kept working hard.

Playing Johnny in the "Grease: Arena Spectacular" must have been great! But how does it feel to get to play the man himself, Danny Zuko in the up coming, "Grease"?

It's a bit of pressure! I remember wanting to achieve it back in 2005, and wanting to put on the jacket. But I had to wait my turn, and now it's come around again.

So I'm pretty excited, and pretty nervous actually...There's a lot more dancing in this role than I've ever done before. So I've got a lot of work to do.

What's been your inspiration thus far, in your diverse career?

When I got back (from traveling overseas) I met some really inspirational and courageous people. I took a plunge and asked them to be my friends, and it worked out really well. Now I have a really great group of friends. People who inspire me, people who work hard, people who play hard. That's my kind of people! So I'd say my biggest inspiration has been the friends I surround myself with.

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Your last solo studio album was back in 2004. Do you plan on releasing another solo album?

I'm constantly writing little bits and pieces here and there. I think when the time is right and I feel more musically comfortable with my own style I will. But I'm not in a huge rush to be a pop-star, I don't think I ever was. I think I just really enjoy being onstage and performing.

So one day, definitely!

What has been the highlight of your career thus far, and what is your ultimate professional goal?

I suppose there's a few highlights. But one of them is getting to host "Young Talent Time", a show that I used to watch as a kid. It was amazing to have Johnny Young, who's the only man in history to be inducted into both the ARIA Hall of Fame, and the Logie Hall of Fame, give you the handshake, and say, "Here's my show, look after it for me" ... I tried. (He laughs)

Apart from "Grease" which is not too far away, what can we expect from Rob Mills in the future?

I'm hoping to...keep with the (song) writing. I'll also hopefully audition for some more TV and Film roles as well. Ideally that's where I'd like to head, a bit of a 'Jackman' style path. See where it takes me.

"Grease" kicks off on the 20th of August in Brisbane. For tickets, dates and further information, head to the show's website, www.greaseistheword.com.au.