He’s a comedian, a TV personality, a dad and an all-round cool dude, but did you know Rove McManus is also a major comic geek?!
It’s true, he told us himself while hosting the launch of Madame Tussaud’s Justice League Exhibition.
He also told us why he loves the new interactive Sydney-based DC attraction, what part he’d like to play in a future DC movie and why you never forget your first Superman:
Hey Rove! Thanks for taking the time to chat. You’ve obviously had a chance to look at the Justice League exhibition, what did you think?
I think Justice League: A Call for Heroes is one of the most incredible exhibits I’ve ever seen. It’s really graphic, which is one of the things I love about what Madame Tussauds does now compared to years ago when it felt like more of a museum because you just walked through what looked like a group of really realistic figures.
When Madame Tussauds Sydney opened, I was very excited to get to be here for the launch especially because I had a figure and I was part of it, it’s an incredible honour to do that.
Speaking of your own figure, it looks A LOT like you. Have you ever tried replacing it with yourself to see if visitors would notice?
I had a day when I came in took my figure out and sat in the chair and scared the life out of a lot of people.
They couldn’t tell it was me except, surprisingly, the give-away was when people would come stand behind me and put their hand on my back, that’s what actually scared them – the feeling of “oh this feels like an actual human being”, it’s a bit too squishy for a wax figure.
It was nice to have that experience and I think that it’s a testament to the figures that people didn’t immediately look at me and go ‘that’s a real human being’. That’s another part of the Justice League exhibit that I love, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in particular is almost scary to look at because it feels like it’s her and you’re like ‘she’s just going to start talking’.
Have you met any of the actors behind the Justice League?
I haven’t met Gal Gadot, no. I haven’t met Ezra Miller, but I have met Henry Cavill who plays Superman. I’m a Superman fan, so that was exciting. I also met our previous Superman, Brandon Routh.
As someone who’s met Henry and then seen his wax statue, would you say the wax statue is better looking?
I’ll say this, the simmering sexual tension can build a lot more when you can just stare right into his eyes without blinking.
It actually is quite overwhelming to stare at these figures that are so realistic, it’s like the person is really there and yeah, you’re waiting for them to blink, breathe or say something. It’s nice to fan boy in front of even a pretend Henry Cavill, without him going ‘can you just leave me alone’.
Aside from really realistic figures, what makes this exhibit different from others?
When Madame Tussauds Sydney opened, I was blown away by the interactive nature of it all and what Madame Tussauds is now. It’s willing people to come and interact rather than just stand and look.
This Justice League Exhibit is that next step of not just posing next to the figure and feel like you’re standing next to that person in their environment, this is actual interaction.
It has the first figure that moves – Superman! There’s actual movement, that’s quite incredible and there’s a lot to do when you get in, not just marvel at the quality of the figures but to play, which sounds like a weird thing when you talk about a room full of wax figures.
HAHA Sexpo was last week Rove! Did you know the Superman figure was going to move before you stood next to it?
Still in awe of @tussaudssydney’s new Justice League Exhibit, especially the MOVING Superman! I think @rovemcmanus may have got a hernia helping Kal-El save Metropolis. . . . . #justiceleague #superman #sydney #madametussauds #tussaudssydney #warnerbros #dccomics #henrycavill #theflash #wonderwoman #batman
No, I didn’t really know what happened. The way it’s set up is there is there is a screen that you activate, it tells you the ‘mission’ and the back story to the whole exhibit, and then you have a mission to complete at each station. I did that and suddenly he started moving.
So the exhibit is almost like a ride?
It is! It’s incredibly immersive and entertaining. Like you’re heading into the world of Gotham City and Metropolis and it even feels like you’re walking onto a film set and that makes it really cool.
The Flash is first and then there’s Wonder Woman and it builds as you go along. Once you arrive at the Superman figure, you touch the screen and it gives you a the next stage of ‘the mission’. So at this point you feel like an expert and you pretend to help him protect a falling helicopter and then suddenly he moves. It’s cool, and you can have fun with the photo – pretend your saving lives or hang off the helicopter.
Also, I DARE YOU NOT TO TOUCH his muscles. I guarantee every person who walks through this exhibit will touch Superman on the bicep at the very least. It’s very toned. I actually went for the quad, I’m a bit of a leg man.
LOL we’ll have to ‘check out’ his muscles then. Tell us a bit about the costumes they’re wearing, are they similar to those in the movie?
That’s the other thing, these are the actual replica costumes made by the company that makes the costumes for the films.
So when you see Superman’s costumes, it’s the exact replica of the one Henry wears in the movie as Superman. That means you can walk around and see all the intricacies of the Wonder Woman costume that you see on the screen but you don’t get to see in actuality that’s one of the coolest parts of this.
You can actually see Batman’s costume, fiddle with it and see how it’s separate to the figure itself. It surprisingly thin, although you expect it to be bulky but I guess an actor needs to run around.
Do the replica costumes look like they’d be comfortable to wear?
The Flash doesn’t. The Flash looks incredibly uncomfortable, it’s made up of all these armored plates. But then again, in the film, it’s held together with these tiny bits of wire and all these design ideas that I now have a greater appreciation for.
Have you been asked to be part of the DC films?
Oh are you kidding me, no! I mean, I would LOVE to. If I could be the guy who just says ‘it’s a bird’! To just do the classic line. Can I just be the ‘it’s a bird guy’ and I would want to be credited as such – there’s ‘man on street’, ‘angry customer’ but I want to be ‘it’s a bird man’.
I’m surprised they haven’t asked you, especially after your Finding Nemo Days.
I know, that was won an Oscar! What else do I have to do? Look I’m trying to help you Warner Bros.
So earlier you said you’re a Superman fan, which was your favourite?
I don’t know the guy’s name but he played Superman in the 1966 Broadway Musical, which is great.
To be honest, I grew up with George Reeves as the TV Superman, which was my first introduction to the hero outside of the comic books, and apparently his suit was in black and white because it was black and white television. So he was kind of the first one and it was back in the day when he wasn’t really muscular, it was just like they said to him ‘hey eat a lot of steak’. I think strangely enough Ben Affleck played him in a movie and then he went on to be Batman – that’s cool.
So yeah I’d say because that was my first introduction to Superman as a kid, watching repeats of that, you know that was before Christopher Reeve came in on the big screen. I’d say, you never forget your first Superman.