Jesse Spencer’s the spunkiest Neighbour we’ve seen in many a day. We speak to him on a weekend when he hardly has time for anything by study and run up to his final exams “This weekend’s my big work weekend because I hardly done any work this week,” he tells us — leaving just enough time for chat about cereal, Kylie Minogue and didgeridoos
So Jesse, how are the academic labours going?
I’m doing biology, chemistry and music. Last year I did another three subjects. This is my second year of year 12 — because of Neighbours. [Jesse has been allowed to split his last year of school into two so he can continue lighting up our screens on a daily basis. Last year was the first half of his split, so now he’s almost there]. Last year I did maths, English and French.
I’m doing OK. Chemistry I’m not very good at all. I got my first three marks back today. I got a B in Chemistry which I’m very happy because I’m bad at chemistry. Biology I got an A+ and music I got an A+.
With the marks I’m getting at the moment I can get into some pretty good courses but I don’t know what I want to get into yet.
How much do you go to school? How do you keep up with your friends?
At the start of the year really frequently. For the past five or six weeks I’ve ben there two or three times max. They’ve been writing me into heaps of stories [on Neighbours]. Most of my friends have left.
What do you do with your money?
I put it in the bank. I turned 18 in February finally –yay!– and I’m thinking about buying a car at the end of the year which will be my first splashout. I’m going to spend about five grand. I’m going to buy a Valiant, something old but with a bit of style.
Do you have any brothers and sisters?
Two older brothers and a younger sister [Tarney 22, Luke 21 and Polly 14]. We get on really well, surprisingly. A lot of siblings don’t, they always seem to fight — stereotypical sisters and bothers. We get on really week for some reason. In our family it’s more the siblings versus the parents.
Do you like Friends?
I have never seen an episode of Friends! I just don’t watch much TV. If you’re on it, you don’t want to be watching it as well. That’s double trouble.
I can’t help but watch how they [other actors] work and somehow I don’t know what the hell the story is about, I’m just watching the acting.
Can you cook?
I can cook: toast, noodles, porridge and pancakes; and that’s all. I can’t really cook.
What about if you ever move out on your own?
I’ll eat cereal. If I don’t eat cereal I get sick. I love it and I’ve really become dependent on it. When I was in primary school I used to eat three bowls a day and now if I don’t eat it for a few days I get sick.
OK, since it’s such an important part of your life — what are your cereal faves?
It is very important part of my life. My faves are: Sultana Bran, Just Right, Weetbix, Rice Bubbles, Weeties, Special K, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, museli, oh and All-bran. And sometimes I’ll mix and match so if there’s not enough in one box I’ll add it to another box.
Do you play sports?
I’ve taken up swimming. Every now and again I go and swim a K. I’d like to jog but it hurts my knees — the impact of hitting the concrete hurts your knees. That’s why I started swimming because there’s no impact. Swimming uses every muscle in your body it’s a really good workout. And I’m going to take up a new sport: I’m going to take up kung-fu.
I’ve started stretching already. I’m going to take it up as soon as I finish school and take it pretty seriously. I’ve started stretching now so I’ll be really flexible. I can get my palms on the floor!
Oh yeah, I can do that. I’ve got my palms on the floor now.
Are your legs straight? You can do it as well! Do you stretch all the time? How did you do that? Oh my god! That’s taken me a week and a half of constant stretching! Even at work in between scenes, I’ve been stretching and everyone’s gong what are you doing and I say ‘oh, just stretching’.
If there’s one thing you have to do before you die, what would it be?
A parachute jump, I’ve got to do that. I was going to do it sometime this year but I haven’t got round to it. I want to do a solo jump so I’ll have to do a weekend course. If you do it tandem [with an instructor strapped to you] you can do it straight away. Solo would be a bigger thrill. I wouldn’t do it once, I’d do it every now and then, a couple of times a year.
Do you ski?
I did last year, not this year. Last year it was really, really good, there was meters of snow. I got time off. (remembering) I did a huge scam — I got time off for exams and I finished early and I still had time off so (laughing) I went skiing for five days.
Are you still in your band Splayed?
No. All my friends left last year, we don’t see os much of each other this year so we decided to break up. [In response to cries of ‘oh no’!] There’s nothing to feel sad about — we weren’t good anyway!
We played modern, what you call it? Grungey, like Spiderbait. Heavy rock. I sand and played guitar. There was me and the other guitarist and we did a lot of harmonies. It was cool.
What instruments do you play?
Violin, piano, didgeridoo.
You’re having me on the last one, aren’t you?
No, I play it. We went to the Northern Territory in 1990 and bought one. You can teach yourself — it’s not that hard, it’s a pretty easy instrument.
What about the violin? Did you olds coerce you into that?
They forced me to learn an instrument but I got to choose which one.
I hated it for the first few years but I got a new teacher and then enjoyed it. But for the past few years, especially this year, I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s been unreal.
Because I’m doing music as a subject, violin is my instrument. You have do a solo performance — when you play a piece on the instrument of your choice. So I’m using the violin.
So are you a violin virtuoso?
I’m OK. It depends who you’re comparing me to. I’m grade 8. I’ve been studying it about eight years. And self-taught piano. I’ve never had any lessons. I can play decently.
Jesse’s neighbourhood (and some famous neighbours)
Do your olds charge you money to live at home? Do they make yo do chores?
No! How could your parents charge you money for living at home?
I have to make sure my room’s tidy. I can’t leave dishes anywhere.
Mum made me clean out the whole car the other day, but I messed it in the first place. I don’t have specific chores but when they ask me to do something, I do it.
Tell me about your room.
I live in a really old house. It was built in 1888. The rood is really high but the room’s not that big. It’s got a fireplace, it’s upstairs, it’s got this huge deer head over the bed.
It [the deer head] actually fell down on my head once!
It wasn’t on the wall properly.
What can you see from your window?
It looks out to a street. I used to be able to see Rialto from my house but these trees in the park grew up in the way. I look straight down this street with heaps of terrace houses.
Actually in this street that’s opposite me that I can see, Kylie Minogue and Dannii Minogue own houses next to each other, right next to me! I can see it from here.
Do you see them — how do you know they’re there?
Nicola Charles told me. And she lives five doors up from me. I go up and see her every now and then. All these people in such a small area!
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