Welcome to the final instalment in my far-reaching interview with that Gentleman, that Scholar, that Supernerd… Mr Issa Schultz.
When we left off last time, Issa was telling me about the public reaction to his onscreen persona, but I was curious about the other side of the coin as well…..
SH: What do your family think of the persona you’ve adopted for the show?
IS: They weren’t surprised at all! What you see is what you get in real life – perhaps a little amplified for the show, but that’s all. Early on in rehearsals we tried the “nasty” angle but it just wasn’t convincing, and I wasn’t comfortable putting people down.
SH: What sort of study or training do you do for the show each week?
IS: My major weakness (I don’t mind giving it away, as I think most viewers know!), is sport, and most things Australiana, so I mainly focus on those. As most of my family are British, I didn’t have exposure to all the Aussie quirks/slang that most people here would lap up in a heartbeat. In fairness, it makes good viewing, since every audience member loves knowing an answer that the Chaser doesn’t – “Gosh! How did he get that wrong? Everybody knows that!” I also keep an eye on current films, the ARIA charts, and quite simply, do as many quizzes as I can (i.e. standard Issa behaviour!)
SH: And finally… (I understand entirely, Issa, if you’d prefer not to answer this, but I feel I’d be neglecting my duty if I didn’t ask)… Are there any tips you can share for any aspiring contestants wanting to go up against you on The Chase Australia?
IS: I don’t mind at all! Whilst I always play my best game on the day, it is admittedly lovely to see the money go off to teams. For The Chase Australia, I would strongly suggest watching previous episodes, just to get a feel for the questions asked. They certainly have their own style – e.g. “In which continent…” So make sure you know your continents! Same goes for the oceans, countries. “In which UK country” is another common one. No need to pass if you can take a guess at one of the four nations – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland. Which brings me to one more tip – TRY not to pass. A pass = zero points. A guess = a chance of a point. We’ve had teams pass when the question started with “In which Australian state…” or “What colour…”. Pick a state! Pick a colour! You might just get lucky.
SH: Issa, thank you so much for your time today, and all the very best
for your continued success on The Chase Australia!
IS: Stephen, so very kind, appreciate our chat.
And there you have it. I’m so very grateful to Issa for giving his time so freely, and for his most detailed and thoughtful responses. You can follow Issa on Twitter (@Issa25), and for those of you in Australia, you can watch him on The Chase Australia, on the Seven Network each weekday afternoon, or right here, on The Seven Network’s catch-up service 7plus.
I’ll see you back here next Tuesday…