He gets to play with the forces of the universe as Loki, the Norse God of Trickery, in The Almighty Johnsons, but when he’s at home, Shane Cortese has his feet firmly grounded on Earth.
With his wife Nerida teasing him about being called a “sex symbol” in his forties and two kids to look after, Shane says he’s just the man that switches on The Wiggles DVD.
“Anything about me being a sex symbol, she just shakes her head and says, ‘You silly old man,’” says Shane, who turned 45 last month.
“I’ve found it really hard to accept my greying hair. I was starting to embrace it until I played golf with my dad the other day and someone asked if we were brothers. That really killed me,” he jokes.
Filming Johnsons back-to-back with Nothing Trivial, where he plays long-suffering dad Mac, Shane is arguably one of the hardest-working men on the small screen.
Despite his busy schedule, Shane is “living the dream” as an actor and regularly boasts to his father that he hasn’t worked a day since quitting his job as a travel agent in 1992.
Of all the roles he has played, Shane has the biggest laughs as Loki, while trivia fan Mac has been his most demanding part, because his character is so close to home.
“Someone said to me once, ‘It must be easy to play Mac, he’s very similar to you – he’s a dad of two and a hard worker.’
“But of all the characters I’ve had the privilege to play, Mac’s the hardest because he is so similar to me,” says Shane, who is father to Kees (6) and Jet (2).
Although it enjoys a cult following here, The Almighty Johnsons is also an international hit, with huge demand in Canada, Europe and Brazil, while the first two seasons will debut in the US next year.
A special iPad app is now available for local and overseas fans to interact with the show.
See Shane on The Almighty Johnsons TV3, Thursday, 8.30pm, and Nothing Trivial TV1 Wednesday 8.30pm.