If you could tell your mum anything, what would it be? That is the theme of Samuel Johnson’s latest book entitled Dear Mum.
The Australian actor best known for his roles on The Secret Life of Us, Crackerjack, Underbelly, Rush and Molly, has published his third collection of letters, this time celebrating motherhood.
The 220-page hardback features letters from Patti Newton, Guy Pearce, Amanda Keller, Rebecca Gibney, Peter Helliar, Shane Jacobson, Adam Spencer, Lehmo, Samuel Johnson, Georgie Parker, Jacqui Lambie, Stephanie Alexander and Turia Pitt, to name a few.
Johnson has pledged to donate part of the sales from each book to cancer research, inline with the charity he set up with his sister Connie, Love Your Sister.
To date his charity has raised more than $13 million.
Johnson spoke to Newcastle Weekly’s Rebecca Riddle about what it was that he gained from writing a book about motherhood.
1. Is the book something you’ve wanted to do for a while?
Since co-founding Love Your Sister over nine years ago, my focus has been on women and mums – this is the perfect tribute to the women and mums I represent in the cancer space.
2. What about your mum?
If I had my mum back I’d give her this book and a big hug. I’d watch her read my letter then thank her for the poem she left me.
3. What traits have you inherited from your mum?
I got my heart from my mum.
4. Of the interviews you conducted was there a theme? Or repeated messages?
So many different types of letters were submitted. Some tributes, some love letters, some filling in lost mums on what they’ve missed and some contributors chose to use their letter to hold their mum to account.
5. Surely you cried when you put this book together because I think I’d be a mess?
Tears all round. Every single contributor found this a cathartic experience and I encourage anyone to pen a letter to their loved ones before it’s too late. I promise you’ll learn something. Guy Pearce’s letter is my fave. It’s an absolute heartbreaker. Have tissues handy for that one!
6. What will you do this year on Mother’s Day?
This Mother’s Day I’ll be doing a couple of hospital visits – can’t think of a better place to be on the day.