The Bondi Hipsters are back! Nick Boshier and Christiaan Van Vuuren, have returned to TV with series 2 of their ABC show Soul Mates. I had a hilarious chat with the pair about the new series, favourite characters and much more!
So Soul Mates season 2 starts on August 3rd on iview and ABC2?
Christiaan: ABC1, they’ve moved us to the main channel
Nick: Yeah so grown up. Mum thinks I’m killing it, the fact that we’re on the ABC. It’s like, “Oh that must’ve done well! Oh Nicholas!”
Christiaan: So Nick’s Tony Jones as far as his mum’s concerned.
Nick: Oh yeah, Tony Jones, but less hot.
Christian: And less in control.
Have you had to make the show bigger and better, to impress Tony Jones?
Christiaan: It’s not necessarily that we had to, but because we’ve gone to the main channel and because this season actually has a US co-financer and co-broadcaster as well, which is a new kind of streaming service called Seeso. So our budget’s been kind of increased a bit, and that has allowed us to do some extra stuff. I mean also we just wrote bigger executions and bigger ideas into this particular season, so it was also one of those things where we were like “We need more money to do this second season of the show”. And we wanted to keep growing, so we wanted there to be a progression; so season 1 was our progression from making stuff online into doing something for TV, and the second season we’ve had a little bit more money to play with in terms of the executions.
What have been your influences for this series, and your previous work? Was there anything that influenced Soul Mates in particular as a sketch story?
Nick: I don’t know, I mean the first thing I ever saw that I was like, “Jesus I want to do that”, was I saw an excerpt of The Mighty Boosh on YouTube. And this is back in 2004 or 2005, and it just blew my mind, the level of fantasy and imagination. It was that Old Gregg scene, I just remember seeing that scene in the bar where they’re talking about Old Gregg, and that dude starts pissing himself?!
And so I remember the seed being planted, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I actually decided to act. I just remember seeing that Mighty Boosh and falling so heavily in love with that infinite imagination, and that’s what birthed it.
Do you have favourite characters to play in the show?
Christiaan: Personally I like all of them for different reasons. The Kiwi Assassins are heaps of fun to play because your playing with guns, and action stuff, and tropes, and cool hair, and mustaches, and epic wardrobes, and all the sets make it look like you’re actually in the 80s, and all the music’s cool. So that’s lots of fun and the banter is really fun.
I like to do the Hipsters because we know the characters so well that it’s really comfortable, so its a stress-free week when we shoot that from a performance point-of-view because we know the characters so well. Then the Cavemen, I just love running around the forest barefoot, wearing nothing, and how silly all the things are that we’re doing; all the content of it and the performance. I mean Rocky for me is really fun to play because I let my arms go a little bit heavy and I can let nothing affect me because he’s just so dumb. So I really just enjoy performing that as well. Then for the ancient Egyptian one; because it was new and because we had such awesome set design and executions, the characters were really cool and the wardrobe was fun. So yeah personally I’ve got all different reasons.
Nick: Yeah what Christiaan said, for all different reasons, and very similar reasons to Christiaan. I like playing the tomb guy, because he was new. As we started, at day two I kind of felt like I’d found the character and that’s always fun I guess. You know, Christiaan and I didn’t grow up as actors, this is the first proper TV show. As an actor doing that, that was the first ‘act-y’ kind of “Oh far out that’s a cool little thing I found in doing that thing”.
You guys started off as YouTubers, and so you’ve been creating your own content and then moved into TV. Do you have any advice for people who are just getting into creating their own stuff?
Nick: I would say just to make stuff, and release stuff. That’s pretty much it. Be prolific, be willing to suck, don’t trivialize what you’re doing too much. It’s very easy to be like “Oh what I’m making is just another little thing…”, don’t think. Don’t use your head too much if you want to be a creator, and you have the aura, you know you have the feeling that you want to do it. So you just do it, do a lot of it, you’ll get better at it. There you go. That’s it. Don’t overthink it.
Christiaan: That said I would also say that it is hard work, and it is supposed to be hard work. We spend hours and hours, and really long days doing what we do and for years and years. It’s not like we just uploaded videos, part of when you’ve put the effort in to creating a thing is also emailing it around to blogs and people that might be relevant. There’s so much content that goes on the internet now, its not like you can make something, upload it, and it’s going to suddenly get a shit ton of hits. Be willing to share your stuff and send it around, and actually have a think about who that might be relevant for.
Soul Mates returns to ABC and ABC iview on August 3rd