Rob "Millsy" Mills became a household name when he made the top five in our first ever season of AUSTRALIAN IDOL. He went on to release an album and top 10 single, and appeared in a series of TV shows before trading the small screen for the boards with roles in successful productions of GREASE – The Arena Tour and HAIR.
Mills' breakout role came in 2008 when he was cast as FIYERO in the original Australian production of the hit musical WICKED. Playing more than 500 shows, Mills garnered rave reviews and quickly took his place as one of our new favourite leading men.
In 2011 Mills appeared opposite Marika Aubrey in the musical THE LAST FIVE YEARS, and this year made a return to the small screen, hosting the new incarnation of family favourite YOUNG TALENT TIME, before joining the cast on a sell-out tour across Australia.
This month Mills will reunite with his WICKED Glinda, Lucy Durack, as he takes on the role of Warner to her Elle Woods in the premiere Sydney season of the international smash hit LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL. An all-star cast has been assembled for this Australian production, with Mills and Durack joined by Helen Dallimore, Cameron Daddo, Erika Heynatz, and David Harris.
As we count down to opening night, here is a glimpse of Millsy's brain on musical theatre ...
This is your brain on musical theatre - 7 Questions with Rob Mills
Is there a particular show and/or person that first made you feel like 'this is what I want to do'?
I remember my parents taking me to see The Phantom of the Opera when I was about 11. I came home obsessed with the music. I jumped on my keyboard and just kept playing the main theme music over and over. It wasn't until after I had finished school and years of singing in bands that I really felt like Musical Theatre was for me. I saw Wicked in London and was totally floored by the spectacle, and decided then and there that I would be Fiyero in Oz/Aus.
Can you remember the moment when you first understood that you could sing the way most others can't?
I remember being asked by my music teacher in High School to sing at a school concert. I sang "I Believe" by Blessid Union Of Souls and afterwards I was told that girls had been crying during the performance. And not because it was a bad performance. Tick.
Is there one night in your career that you would love to go back to and experience over again?
A few years ago, the cast of Wicked performed for one night only, Stephen Sondheim's "Into The Woods". For over 3 months, we would rehearse in between shows, after and before work. To see each and every cast member have their moment to shine was truly heart warming. I thought at the time, what an incredibly talented cast we have here. Everyone donated their performance for the Rob Guest Endowment Fund. I'm sure Rob would have been incredibly proud too.
Is there one role that belongs to the opposite gender or a different age group that you'd secretly love to perform?
I reckon Elphaba would be a great role to play. She has a huge character arc and some of the best songs ever. I actually used to sit in the pit during the shows and listen to the band really rock out during Defying Gravity. Not too keen on the green make up though. Those Elphie's said it took weeks to get out of the pores some times.
What book/TV show/movie is a musical just waiting to happen?
One of my favourite books The Shadow Of The Wind would make a beautiful musical I think. Wonderful characters, a little dark, mystery and intrigue and could be a little Les Mis-esque. Read the book and tell me what you think on twitter.
Do you still sing in the shower when you sing for a living?!
Of course I do … Music is my life. I always have it playing in my home. Nothing better than a good shower sing. Itunes on random so you just never know what's going to come next.
and finally, borrowing from James Lipton via Bernard Pivot:
What sound or noise do you love?