Congratulations on the new baby. How has life changed for the MacManus family during the last few weeks?
Things have been great the last few weeks with the family, thanks. For sure, it has been and continues to be an adjustment but we love it. Tadhg is great. He is behaving and sleeping and eating as we would expect a newborn to do. Echo has been a star as expected, and even Oisín. He wants his momma’s attention as normal. His sleeping hasn’t been the best of late, but they both love having a baby brother, and we couldn’t be happier or stronger as a family.
Your children have beautiful, unusual names. How did you and Tahyna choose them?
The names, yeah, we love them. As you know, I love my Irish mythology and the characters and stories and traditions, so luckily Tahyna was on board with those unorthodox to some names. We have Oisín and Tadhg who are both characters and were warriors as well as poets and storytellers. I’ve always loved their names, and both middle names are Irish kings—Oisín Lír and Tadhg Nuada. Echo Isolde is from Greek mythology, and we also have our own private story for choosing her name. Isolde was a princess in Tristan and Isolde but also there was an Irish Queen named Isolde, so same as the boys.
What are some things you like to do with your children?
We do everything as a family. We go on bush walks in the national park. We read, we draw, we tell stories, and Tahyna is awesome at doing arts and crafts with them. We do everything you would or at least we expect a family to do. They love interactive play and are very kind and friendly kids who are eager to explore and learn. There isn’t a profession or activity that Echo hasn’t expressed an interest in pursuing as a career—haha. She now wants to be a scientist, doctor, vet, and hairdresser as well as go to parties. Oisín wants to be Spider-Man. We are doing our best to make all these avenues a possibility!!
Now that you’ve been a co-host of Studio 10 for several months, what are your thoughts about it? What have you enjoyed most?
I love this job. I have been very lucky with the cast and crew that I have joined and get to work with and learn from each day. I get excited going to work each day. I like feeling the pressure of having to be ‘on’ every day, and I enjoy learning about things I may have never had an interest in and getting to learn first hand why the people who are into it in their words. My appreciation for everything has luckily heightened, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that unless somebody put their trust and faith into me to do so. That’s why I appreciate the opportunity so much and strive to know and learn more about most things each day.
Has there been an especially memorable guest on Studio 10? What about an especially funny moment or blooper?
I get enjoyment out of most interviews to be honest. I loved talking with Matthew McConaughey, not because of how famous he is or his star power but just because i had read his book. We spoke off camera before the interview, and we spoke about soccer, him filming in my home town for Reign Of Fire, and aspects of his life. He was very down to earth and interested as much as he was interesting. I have spoken to endurance athletes who inspire me and, as I mentioned before, people who make me appreciate things I never had before. The local heroes are amazing to hear from—the front line workers, the nurses and doctors, the firefighters, the people who put others before themselves every day. It’s a beautiful position to be in to be able to highlight their work and their stories.
I once read the news on my first week by accident. I did a Forrest Gump on the auto cue and just kept reading!! I have mispronounced well-known names of people. I have given opinions on unrelated topics because I got the premise of the story wrong—hahaha. You know, just the usual stuff. Also just general ‘routine’ stuff that all tv hosts and anchors should know. I’ve stuffed them all so what are ya gonna do??!!! Haha!
We liked getting to see you and Sarah do a bit of dancing on Footloose Fridays. How did that come about? Will those continue and has there been a favorite performance?
I’m not too sure with the Footloose Fridays. I think they are here to stay alright but maybe not as frequently as they were before. In one sense, it was probably a way for me to bed in to the show and get some confidence as well as help build our relationship as partners on the show. More than that though, it’s just a way to relate to the performers over here who need or maybe want a platform to show what they do and how we can connect them together. Some will look at it as us being show ponies and showing off, but I think the majority realize that in a four hour show for every day of the week sometimes it’s okay for us to let our hair down and have a bit of active fun with people who wanna dance. I love the diversity of the people in Australia so it’s great to do any cultural dancing and find out the histories and pride that people have in their culture. I always think it’s something we can relate to and bring us closer.
How do you prepare on a daily basis to host the show?
I like to read the stories of the guests coming on and see how I can relate to them if I’m lucky enough to have time to read their book/ hear their podcast. I always want to know more but generally I just enjoy talking to people and learning about them. I can’t be on top of everything and find out every last detail about them, but I know what they are on to talk about so it’s basically a lot of reading and trying to relate.
The cooking segments look like fun. Any favorite dishes?
I love all the cooking segments. It’s like being able to have the best of the best cooking something I’ve never eaten before or changing my mind about something I thought I didn’t like. I haven’t had a dish I didn’t like yet!
Are there any foods common to Australia that you especially like or dislike?
I do not and will never like Vegemite!
If you were to make a documentary film on any subject, what would it be about?
I love anything endurance related. I love talking with people who strive to push themselves beyond what seems possible! Swimmers, runners, cyclists—I’m still a keen triathlete so anything in that area gets me going, but generally anyone lucky enough to be doing something they love and challenges them gets my attention. I don’t have to have an interest in the topic. I just need to know I’m working with someone who does. I’m still a history buff, so I love true stories of unlikely or accidental heroes.
The last movie you saw
Just watched Tropic Thunder last night before falling asleep
The television show watched most frequently in your house
Curb Your Enthusiasm/The Office (American and UK), Bluey and Spider-Man
The movie watched most frequently in your house
At the moment it’s Luca, a new Disney+ movie
The last food you cooked
We are cooking homemade pizzas a lot lately with the kids, and I made a mac broccoli and cheese dish recently that surprised me and the family!
The menu at home when the kids get to choose
Anything with pasta and tomato sauce
Favorite family activity
We love the nature walks and drawing/reading.
The last non-Studio 10 related show you got to see
I watched a doco called Breaking 2 while I was on the treadmill.
Any recent sporting event you have attended or watched on television
I’m currently trying to watch the Euros and the Copa America when I can. I’m trying to get back into the basketball as well. It’s just tough at the minute to!
Finally, the question asked most frequently. When will we get to see you dance again?
Who knows??!! I do miss Ballroom With A Twist.
Since July, 2012, we have interviewed Tristan 75 times and each is posted here with the most recent first.