Julia Morris is certainly one busy lady. That's capital L 'Lady', actually. The last couple of years have been positively hectic for Lady J-Mo: she’s tried to conquer America, contested and won the inaugural series of The Celebrity Apprentice Australia, landed a role on Channel 9’s new series House Husbands and on top of all that, has a new stand-up show she’s touring nationally. So how the hell does she manage all that and raise a family?
“I’ve got my own house husband,” says Julia.
Her husband Dan Thomas, a level-headed businessman, left his career in advertising to take care of the couple’s two daughters, and the super-organised household, resultant of a controlled, business-like approach to fathering is something Julia is truly thankful for.
“Normally I’d just walk into the kitchen and think ‘We haven’t got any bread!’ so he’s fantastic,” she says with a laugh.
It hasn’t always been so easy for them though. After Julia’s agent scored her a rare two-year working visa for the US she relocated to the West Hollywood Hills, something the girl from Gosford had only ever dreamed of. Success in the big smoke is hard to come by however, and during her two years there between paying for drama school, doing countless TV and comedy club spots and making a few trips back to Oz for Good News Week appearances, amassed a grand total of $1200.
The experience and exposure was invaluable to her though, and her pleasant reception over there she partly attributes to Australian success stories of the bygone era, such as Paul Hogan and Dame Edna.
“We’ve had a good platform set for us so if we go over there and they hear our accent I think they’re just happy that we’re not British,” she laughs.
Upon returning home Julia found herself thrust into the manic world that is reality TV, appearing on and winning The Celebrity Apprentice Australia’s first series, which was clearly an, uh, interesting social experiment.
“I’ve never spent a long time in a mental health facility!” she says. “But people probably got to see something closer to the real me than the zany comedienne they normally do.”
It was this profile boost and revelation of character that Julia believes saw her land an audition for and subsequently be cast in House Husbands, which is a challenge she is relishing, given her long desire to give drama a good crack.
“On the show, my character’s not really that funny,” she says. “So I find that I’m using a lot of what I learned in drama school at work, so it’s basically my prac.”
There are of course, perks to the job.
“I get to show up to work and kiss Gary Sweet every day so I’m not going to say no to that!”
It’s not all smooth sailing, however. A few years ago Julia made a comment on Good News Week about cyclists and was lambasted in the media for it.
“I didn’t even mean it and I just thought, who is taking me seriously?”
But from this we have Julia’s latest stand-up show No Judgment, one all about taking some time to consider the best in people and maybe being a bit less of a bastard. At its core message, somewhat reminiscent of David Foster Wallace’s famous This Is Water speech, punters needn’t expect too much philosophical analysis.
“It does mean well but there’s not going to be too many deep intelligent moments. They are coming to see me,” she laughs. “I just want to have a laugh so it’s mostly hilarious.”
Any regular person may be incredibly ground down with such a busy life, but after being gainfully employed, if somewhat erratically, as an entertainer for her whole life, Julia couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve never really had a proper job so if I wake up and I’m alive that’s a good start.”