He was, at the end of the day, a charismatic narcissist with a Jim Morrison complex. Arms spread wide like Jesus, leather pants painted on, a second-hand Jagger swagger and, according to one girlfriend, “the Taj Mahal of crotches.”
Talent, too, of course. The boy spoke fluent Mandarin. And there’s no denying Michael Hutchence could sing. “He was one of the greatest frontmen of all time,” reckons young Aussie actor Luke Arnold, who plays Hutchence in INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, a two-part mini-series kicking off this Thursday on TV3.
“People who knew Michael told me he made you feel like you were the only person in the room, whether you were talking to him at a party or he was singing in a huge stadium. He seemed to be a really creative, caring, inventive guy, at the start of his career, anyway. And he never dreamt of being a singer. He was this wannabe poet, and it was only because he became friends with a bunch of musicians at high school that he was suddenly thrown in front of a microphone.”
Arnold is in LA, taking a break from shooting another series. As he drives around looking for a place to park, he jokes that he was born to play Hutchence. “Oh, yeah! For me, this was a dream role. Even in high school, I’d joke that if I ever became an actor, this would be the role I’d be called on to play because of my long, curly hair. Whenever INXS came on at parties, I was on the dancefloor, hamming it up. So yeah, it was weird that I really did end up playing him in this story.”
Said story will be very familiar, not just to INXS fans, but to anyone who’s ever watched a rock’n’roll biopic. We meet a bunch of na