Twenty-three years ago, Stephen Curry played an engaging, trusting innocent in the form of young Dale Kerrigan, the teen narrator of The Castle, that much loved movie in which a family of Aussie battlers go to comically poignant lengths to save their dream home from annihilation.
Since then, Mr Curry has managed to carve out a career that has successfully ping-ponged from comedy to drama and back again. But he’s also a family man, with a castle of his own, and two young boys, aged seven and five.
One of the enduring lines from The Castle was “How’s the serenity?”
As has been the case with every Australian family, Stephen, his wife, Naadein Crowe, and the two boys have been in virtual lock-down for many weeks.
So how was the serenity with home schooling and living at close quarters without a break? It was the obvious question to ask when Stephen joined me as this week’s guest at the Covid Conversation podcast.
He admits that on the day the boys went back to school, the sun seemed to be shining that little bit brighter.
“It was a beautiful day,” he says. “Not because we had a terrible time. We had an incredibly satisfying and loving time … but it was still pretty joyous. You tell yourself it’s all about their socialisation and the importance of them being able to make their way through societal issues at school.
“But also, we got to watch Netflix that day.”
Overall, he feels that he and Naadein learnt a lot about parenting, and had milestone experiences via home-schooling that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
“And i think they (the boys) enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed theirs,” he says. “I think we were kind of well built for lock-down.” .
What becomes apparent, in an interview that frequently goes off the rails (“my mother gave me her copy of Fifty Shades of Grey”) is that not all comedian-types are miserable tortured souls.
In fact, optimism was drilled into the five Curry children, along with Catholic guilt, and a relentless facility for dad jokes. The result was a boy who frequently made up sins to share in confession.
Still, if COVID-19 had been a different kind of illness, he admits that optimism would have been tested, and the good mood at home would have been harder to sustain.
“If this disease went for young kids, it would have been a completely different ball game,” he says.
“From the start, they were saying ‘what is this all about?’ – because they were obsessed with the coronavirus.
“We said, what this is, we have to go into lock-down to protect your grandparents, and your friends’ grandparents, and that’s the way we allowed them to process that. ‘This thing is not coming to get you, but we’re doing our bit to stop it.’
“If this thing had come to attack kids, it would have been way different for us. We would have been losing our minds. And then we would have had to be pretty up front to them about the importance to their own safety … and we didn’t have to say any of that sort of stuff.”
For more of Stephen Curry, including certain self-help revelations, go to this week’s episode of Covid Conversation.