In the last set of questions, we asked you who you would be your first guests if you took over as David Letterman’s replacement. Let’s keep going on that. Give us a guest list (other than Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, and Dave Chappell). It could be musical guests, comedians, etc.
I’m not too sure really. I like talking with comedians and musicians but I feel sometimes when you interview people it can become more like a show than an actual conversation so I would probably get a bunch of people who aren’t so well known who are just normal – ha! I once interviewed somebody - a singer - after a show and it was the worst ever. I had absolutely no interest in one word they had to say, and I was actually really looking forward to it before hand! Some people are so caught up in performing all the time or trying to portray a reputation that they lose grasp on reality for me!
We’ve been fascinated with Tahyna’s film project, OREN. Have you been involved at all so far? Have you had the opportunity to be on set?
No, I haven’t been on set - right now they have just shot the teasers and Kickstarter campaign and are working on the script changes and promotion day to day so I leave her to it. I help out with suggestions or just an ear now and again when I’m asked, but it’s in great hands where it is. I’ll try to get my mug in the there somewhere and of course I’ll be teaching a class somewhere as part of one of the incentives but that’s about it.
Along those same lines, have you ever had the interest in being in on the writing or production end of a film? Or perhaps if you were involved in a movie project, what aspect of the film might intrigue you the most?
I like writing for sure and producing can be fun. I’ve done bits and pieces before and may jump into in the future as well but right now it’s a spectator sport for me. I have a lot of ideas I find hard to put down but I try. I love doing re-writes on things and I like interpreting things that other people do so maybe I’m good at assisting more than anything else but that suits me because I only like doing stuff I’m really passionate about or willing to put all my time into, and at the minute I get inspiration to do other things.
The Holland America: DWTS At Sea cruises start up again in June. Are you still scheduled to appear?
At the minute, yeah, I’m due to do the first cruises in June but beyond that I’m not too sure. I love doing the cruises but things are changing all the time so for now I’m not looking beyond the first one which I had already committed to do. Things are getting to the stage where it’s hard to rely on anything so I just have to keep slugging away and pushing work as much as possible like everyone else. Holland America have always been great with me and the team responsible for the cruises have always been straight as an arrow with me so I really enjoy working there.
You’re scheduled to teach a master class at LA Ballroom in May. When you’re dealing with proficient dancers as in this situation, how do you structure the class?
I don’t have too much structure to be honest going in there. I like to judge it on the attendance and see what we are working with on the night. I will always ask if there are specific things the studios want to work on for their students but generally I’ll judge it on what I see happening and see what I can help most with. Group classes are always difficult in the sense that standards are always different and for sure attitudes as well so it all comes down to what will benefit a 'group' more and then be more specific in private lessons. Again as usual though I’m sure different people have different ways of prepping classes – that’s just me.
You seem to have a lot of friends from SYTYCD. What impresses you most about that show and the dancers who have gotten their big break there?
I know a few people who have been/are on that show yeah and its different but I love how dedicated they all are to their craft and probably how committed they are to learning different styles and improving themselves. When it comes to shows like these dance and singing shows, they can do your nuts in because it seems like everyone needs a sob story or flamboyance about them or something other than just being good at dancing when that’s all its about for me. What it comes down to it, on DWTS people want to see you 'learn' to be good and on SYTYCD people want to see you 'be' good because on that show you are expected to be good. That’s why you are there! It doesn’t matter if mammy and daddy paid for everything or you sold everything you owned to dance, for me the emphasis is always put on that. It’s funny though for me how happy and full of energy everyone always seems to be on TV - hahaha!
A lot of dancers, actors, athletes, etc. have taken some ballet along the way. How about you? Did any ballet figure into your training?
No, I’ve never done ballet in my life. I think it’s very impressive but I have no interest in it. James Dean used to do ballet. I found that interesting
One of your supporters on Facebook, Wes, wanted to know that after you were paired with Valerie if you ever went back and watched any of her episodes of Rhoda or The Mary Tyler Moore Show?
No, I never looked at Rhoda or Mary Tyler Moore. I saw some short You Tube clips just to get a gist of it and I thought maybe we could recreate something from it somewhere but it didn’t work out. I did watch a roast of Valerie Harper and I really liked that - just a bunch of drunks and friends slating her. That was funny, and you could really see her personality there which I loved and came to realize how genuine it was. Valerie is crazy busy working now so I look forward to seeing all her new projects coming together and be proud of the stuff she is doing now more than what she had done before.
You have visited Australia several times in the last few years. Which is your favorite of the places you have visited thus far?
Sydney for sure! It’s where I have been going the last few years, and I absolutely love it there. I used to go climbing in the Blue Mountains and by my mates place in the Colo River so I always love going back out camping there when we make it back. I used to love Melbourne a lot but the more time I spend in Sydney, it’s become one of my favourite places to be.
When you were a little guy back in Ireland, what was your favorite subject in school? What was your least favorite?
I wasn’t really one for school to be honest. I loved history and geography and I guess science was alright but that just seemed like somewhere to mess around cutting things up and setting things on fire. The stuff we used to do when we were kids are ridiculous when you think back on it - crazy, dangerous stuff altogether. I still like history but I’m more skeptical about everything now. For me history isn’t so much facts all the time but just people’s perspectives of how things happened; you can’t lie with dates and outcomes but I’m interested in different theories and accounts of things that happened. I used to hate French but I don’t know why. I really like languages now - I just don’t have the patience to learn them. I used to try tolearn Italian from watching Italian soccer on TV but we didn’t have enough people to sign up for Italian in school so they sacked it off. We could learn French or German, I think it was. I remember I used to have double French on a Wednesday morning and then a free period so me and my mates used to go play football instead and come into school late. I used to get in awful trouble for that.
Have you ever been tempted to take up a musical instrument? If so, which one? Or are you already proficient on, say, the tuba?
Instruments again are like languages for me. I would love to be able to play but I don’t have the patience, and I get frustrated so quickly. I bought a lot of instruments over the years intending on learning but they just sit around and Tahyna plays them. She seems to be able to play anything that’s here. Some people have that knack of being able to pick things up very easily, some have to work real hard and some of us just go do something else. One day though I’ll learn every instrument and go out as a one man band!
Now for some favorites:
Favorite Irish film (or movie filmed in Ireland)
The Field is my favourite Irish film of all time no doubt but I love The Quiet Man and The Count Of Monte Cristo that was filmed close to my home in Ireland.
Favorite country music artist and favorite country music song
I like a lot of country music. Garth Brooks is one of my favourites. I don’t care what anyone says he is amazing – haha. I love Kenny Rogers as well and my favourite song - not because it’s the best, I just love - it is called “Fishin’ In The Dark” by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. There are for sure better songs and musicians that I know but they come to my head first.
Favorite rock and roll artist – all time and favorite rock and roll song
Too many to choose but I love Bowie and The Rolling Stones and “Bohemian Rhapsody” is still one of my favourite songs of all time. Freddie Mercury was unbelievable.
“Quickfire Round Questions!” (Tristan's words)
Favorite TV game show
Favorite reality show
Wife Swap – Haha!
Favorite TV western
Favorite Saturday Night Live host
Favorite SNL skit
Cowbell or Chippendales Audition
Your favorite method of transportation: plane, train, or car
Some “just for fun” questions:
Last year in one of our interviews, you mentioned that Val Chmerkovskiy had tried to teach you basketball and that it hadn’t gone particularly well. We noticed you and Sasha shooting some hoops recently (thanks to Sasha and his Instagram). How are those skills coming along and who has better skills – you or Sasha?
I’m terrible at basketball. Sasha is better but he is no good either, and I can reach higher than he can........even when he jumps! He loves a bit of social media he does!
Speaking of sports, last year you threw out the first pitch at a couple of baseball games. Do you have any plans to do something similar again this year?
I had great fun at those baseball games. Of course, I’d love to go again if they would have me but at the minute nothing is happening. I’m a lot busier now. I’ve gone back playing football as well.
Do you ever just dance around the house while you’re washing dishes, brushing your teeth, etc?
No. I barely dance when I’m at work!
Were you ever tempted to try out the Tom Cruise “Old Time Rock and Roll” scene from Risky Business?
Oh, I’ve done that a few times for sure whether I’m on my own or the house is full. I love Bob Seger. I guess I always throw a few moves out to his music. I lose my mind in the car when “Hollywood Nights” comes on!
Finally, what makes you laugh more than anything?
I love laughing! I love people falling over and I love people getting really confused and people getting scared but I love a drink and a story.
Since July, 2012, we have interviewed Tristan 66 times and in honor of our website forum reaching 1 million views in February, 2016, we decided to bring them all back beginning with the first one. We hope you enjoy this very special feature. All interviews are posted elsewhere on this website, including our forum.