Travis Fimmel costars in A&E's "The Beast" with Patrick Swayze. Once upon a time, he was on pretty much every billboard everywhere wearing only Calvin Klein underwear. We caught up with him at the family farm in Australia.
How long are you down there?
As long as I can stay here till I come back and do press stuff. I get to dodge everybody.
So what did you do last night?
Had a couple of beers with a school buddy. Just working till 9 o'clock at night.
And how's the family?
Yeah, everybody's good, mate. My brother's got kids -- I'm the only one my parents are worried about.
Have you ever brought a girl back to the farm?
No! Not yet. She'd have to be a keeper. She'd have to be committed already. It's pretty tough out here. She'd have to say "I love you" before I bring her out. I'd probably have to marry her first! It's pretty dry and tough.
I don't guess most L.A. girls will even fly to Sydney.
Exactly. Unless it's on a private jet or something.
Maybe you don't like getting stuck in L.A. so much either.
I'm a country boy, mate! Not a real big fan of cities. But you gotta be there to work. Gotta be in L.A. But the thing is, I'm not sure, we'll find out in the next month or so if the show gets picked up. It's hard to commit to anything else, so I thought I'd come home.
You guys had a pretty intense time at the [television critics] press tour in January. [Swayze, who has pancreatic cancer, was supposed to be on a panel for "The Beast" along with Fimmel and the show's producers.]
Yeah, well Patrick got the pneumonia and went in the hospital that morning. So we were a man down for the day. It's pretty funny with 200 people sitting in front of you -- it's a little weird right? That's why I didn't do speeches in school. I didn't want to stand up in front of people and be the only one talking.
And yet you're working as an actor.
Yeah, that's another funny one. But no, I'm so comfortable with it.
And also, you know, people think you're really good looking. Is that weird getting treated like that?
It's only weird to other people.
But sometimes there's a, like, anti-model bias too?
Yeah, you know, it's all funny to me. You're gonna get judged no matter what. It's other people's stuff. I think it's funny, to be honest! People thinking you're something. As funny as it sounds, it seemed like the smart thing to do at the time. It paid my rent! I can't complain. But I didn't know it was going to be on billboards and that sort of stuff. I didn't even know what Calvin Klein was before I did it. I soon found out.
That's a weird thing to happen.
It's unfortunate: People take it a bit more seriously than I did.
What's the secret you? Are you religious?
Ah, no, but I'm happy for other people to be religious. That was politically correct, wasn't it!
That was very cautious. Australia's not a super-religious country.
You'd love it. You should come out.
What's the best place to go?
Well, there's lots of good places. But above Sydney, the east coast. Great Barrier Reef, the islands out there. Everybody's so friendly! You'd have a good time. You'd have about 200 e-mails by the time you left. It's a good time to go now! The dollar's pretty low. You get your money's worth at the moment.
Can you go back to Hollywood and sell out and fund the family?
Sell out -- I would have sold out a few years ago. The Calvin thing gave me too much of a -- I'm too judgmental to sell out. I haven't done anything I'm too proud of yet. I wanna have longevity, though, so I try not to sell out. I'm in it for the creative process. I wanna make money for sure -- but doing stuff I'm proud of.
I was talking to someone about you and they were like, "And he's actually good on this show!"
It always gets the "actually." And "surprisingly!"
And it's like: OK, yeah, he's pretty.
I should be a lot better. I've been in acting class long enough.
And have you talked to Patrick?
We texted yesterday! He's doing good. I think he's heading out to New Mexico -- or he must be in L.A., if he texted me. He's got a ranch in New Mexico he wants to get to.
People are really concerned about him. Obviously.
He's a tough bugger! I think he enjoys the challenges a bit actually.
And what are your big plans for tomorrow?
I'll be up at 5 to milk cows.
They like it early.
It is nice to see the sun come up. It is beautiful every morning.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun