TV Guide, news.com.au, 19 July 2015. Anh Real: Why Australia loves Anh Do and he loves Italy.

An edited extract of the original article (re Anh Do’s new Australian TV Show, “Anh Does Italy”, his position on asylum seekers and a Russell Crowe film based on “The Happiest Refugee”) appears below.

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ANH Do’s philosophy in life isn’t for the faint of heart.

Inspired by the resilience and courage of his refugee father, Tam — who captained a small fishing boat of 40 people, all fleeing Vietnam and bound for Australia back in 1980 — (Australian Viet Kieu) Anh Do often poses himself a simple but confronting question when considering new projects or challenges.

“I ask myself this: ‘if I fail, are 40 people going to die, including my wife and my young children? If the answer is ‘no,’ then let’s move forward and have a crack,’” Do tells TV Guide.

With little fear of failure, it’s the Australian comedy favourite’s ‘have a go’ attitude which has connected him to local audiences and made his travel series for Channel Seven such a surprising hit.

His infectious enthusiasm and boundless energy are apparent from the opening credits of his latest adventure, Anh Does Italy…

It was with the same reckless abandon which Do ‘did’’ Vietnam, Britain, Scandinavia, Iceland and Brazil — all ratings winners for Seven…

“A lot of these countries (says Do), we show them Anh Does Vietnam or one of the previous series and they get that it’s a really ‘up’ show. It’s funny and it’s warm and I’m not there to pay out anyone.”

Challenging himself is also part of the appeal for the 38-year-old, whose personal credits also include best-selling author [his autobiography, The Happiest Refugee was a smash hit upon release in 2011, while latest children’s book series, Weirdo continue to sell like hot cakes]; actor [he got his break in acclaimed ABC drama SeaChange, but is best known as Chen Chong Fat aka Keith in SBS comedy series, Pizza]; as well as artist [he was a finalist in last year’s Archibald portrait prize]…

IT remains one of the hottest political topics of the day, but Anh Do is cool, not complacent, when it comes to the refugee debate.

Asked why he’s never been drawn into the asylum seeker controversy, Do is simply not interested in being anyone’s mouthpiece.

“I’m not a megaphone sort of guy. I just let my art talk for itself,” he says.

Russell Crowe, who will direct a film adaptation of The Happiest Refugee, was more effusive about the talented Australian, telling TV Guide exclusively: “Anh Do possesses a deep well of creativity — a renaissance man if ever there was one. His stand up comedy makes me laugh, his public speaking gives me goosebumps, his writing engages me emotionally and his painting impresses me. It’s pretty obvious I’m a fan, right?”

Crowe continued: “I hope to bring his family’s story to the big screen to honour their journey and sacrifice but also to honour the country they chose as their new home.”…

Screening times for “Anh does Italy” on Channel 7 (Australia)

  • Tuesday, 21 July 2015 @ 7.30pm; and
  • Thursday 23 July 2015 @ 7.30pm

Further information

  • To view the original and unedited article, click onto Anh Real: Why Australia loves Anh Do and he loves Italy.
  • Photo caption: Australian Viet Kieu, Anh Do arrived in Australia from Vietnam in 1980 aboard a leaking fishing boat, captained by his father Tam. Pic: Supplied to news.com.au

 

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