An Aussie Takes Manhattan

The Editors | September 6, 2016 | Feature

Despite all of the "Crocodile Dundee" jokes and the watery coffee, Australian-born actor Sullivan Stapleton, 39, loves New York. In the crime drama "Blindspot," which returns to NBC Sept. 14, he plays the head of the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group. Having filmed everywhere from Times Square to the Lower East Side to Harlem, he now calls NYC his “office.” And the myth of the rude New Yorker? He begs to differ.
SEE NO EVIL Sullivan Stapleton, star of NBC's "Blindspot," has nothing but affection for New York City, where the show is shot.

I first came here on vacation a few times in my mid-20s. I’ve always loved New York—the bars, the energy, the music that comes out of here. It’s nonstop.

I’ve done all the touristy things: walking on the High Line, going to the top of the Standard Hotel and to the top of Freedom Tower, riding my bike on the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s great getting to explore all the different boroughs.

I even saw Hamilton—when Lin-Manuel Miranda was still in it! I had gotten tickets and planned on taking an Aussie mate of mine. He had just landed, and I told him, we have to go see a musical, it’s kind of like The Sound of Music; it’s for work. I didn’t tell him it was Hamilton. He was like, oh, we should go see Hamilton. I said, yeah, I’ve heard of that one, let’s see if we can get tickets. So I go in to see if they have tickets, then come out and tell him, no way, they’re sold out for months. When I told him I actually did have tickets to Hamilton, he was shocked. The show was phenomenal.

When Americans find out I’m Australian, a lot of them think of Crocodile Dundee, so they’ll always say, “Throw another shrimp on the barbie.” Let me just say… we don’t do that. We put everything else on the barbie—steak, ribs, sausages, chicken... just not shrimp. Meanwhile, one of our big staples is meat pie, but Americans have no idea what those are, which is kind of funny.

I love all the restaurants and food here. Some favorites are Italian and Asian, which we also have at home, though there are some differences here. Like, there’s sugar in everything. And cream in the Bolognese sauce! Why? And the portions. Sometimes when you see the size of the plate, you think, I could share that salad with the whole table.

The coffee is also different. Thankfully, there are a fair few Aussies here showing Americans how to make a latte. Our coffee is stronger: It’s an espresso mixed with milk, not that drip-filtered, dirty-water coffee.

I’ve heard New Yorkers are rude. That’s bullshit! New Yorkers are sort of like Aussies—they’re pretty stand-up, honest people. Say what you want, everyone’s got an opinion—if that’s how you feel, cool. So I fit right in.


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