The Adam Factor
He’s a tap dancer, an actor and a reality TV judge, but Adam Garcia hopes to shine as a soccer star when he takes part in a Harrow charity football match on 18 August. The easy on the eye Aussie talks to Kaye Holland about training, tap dancing and Drew Barrymore
Adam Garcia breaks with the usual celebrity tradition of never saying sorry and apologises for missing our original interview. “Sorry about last week,” he sighs. “My Blackberry died. I hate Blackberry.”
Wow, I’m already impressed. Despite the fact that he is phoning from fame obsessed LA, Adam comes across as wonderfully un-starry. He’s sharp, funny and happy to chat about the forthcoming charity football match – which will see Adam and Radio Northwick Park take on a team of ex Arsenal pros. “I’m very excited,” says Adam. “I’ll probably play left back. That’s where I feel comfortable.”
His commitment to the event isn’t in doubt. “I have been training at Catz in LA, which is where Beckham trains,” he reveals. “It’s going well. As long as I am able to run and not have my lungs fall out of my mouth, I’ll be happy.”
Not that the affable Aussie is content with the recent Ashes result (England beat Australia to retain the trophy). “We’ve reached a nadir in terms of our cricket talent and ability,” Adam reluctantly acknowledges “but we’ll come back!”
By contrast Adam’s own career continues to go from strength to strength. Having become an accomplished tap dancer in his teens, his big break came when acclaimed choreographer Dein Perry cast him in tap ensemble Hot Shoe Shuffle. The show transferred to London where Adam found dance fame as Tony Manero (the part that made Travolta a star) in Saturday Night Fever. The role – for which he received an Olivier award nomination – established Adam as hot commodity and Hollywood came calling. He starred in Jerry Buckheimer’s Coyote Ugly, Riding In Cars With Boys opposite his friend Drew Barrymore (“a genuinely amazing person. She’s caring, clever, funny…”) and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen with Hollywood hell-raiser Lindsay Lohan.
Back in Britain, he trod the boards in Where We Live, Wicked and Kiss Me Kate, and proved his talent as a dancer with the West End revival of Tap Dogs and his role as a judge on TV show Got To Dance.
Effortlessly gorgeous (the 40 year old looks younger than his years), Adam’s career has been nothing if not varied and I’m curious as to what his preferred platform is. “I really don’t know,” he says. “I’m a bit of a slut and like trying my hand at new things – even if I’m not that good at them,” he adds with usual modesty. “But for me, dancing has always been impossible to give up.”
Ask Adam for his career highlight to date and he cites Saturday Night Fever as “pretty special and something I owe to [axed Strictly judge] Arlene Phillips. Arlene took a big risk in putting an unknown 25 year old in the lead role of a West End production.” Other standouts include “opening the Sydney Olympics in 2000.”
The Sydney boy has been based in London for 19 years. “London is a great city, but I had no idea I would stay this long,” he laughs and confesses to missing the “beach, surf and wildlife” of his native Oz.
His most recent trip Down Under was to shoot Camp - a television series currently airing in America. Whether Adam’s army of British fans will get to see the show isn’t clear. “It’s about summer camp, which the UK doesn’t really have,” he explains, “but it’s very funny.”
Adam will be returning to Oz in September to film political thriller, The Code. First though there’s a “five week holiday – woo!” to look forward to. And the football match, where he’ll be doing his best to defend “against the might of the ex Arsenal team.”