As a singer, dancer and actor, Adam Garcia is what's known as a triple-threat in the showbiz industry - and his success on stage and screen justifies the title.
The Australian entertainer, along with his wife and 11-month old daughter, now call London home. But when Garcia scored the lead role in the Australian tour of the musical production Singin' in the Rain, he and his family returned Down Under and of course, they needed a car to get around in.
Enter the Fiat 500X, a small SUV which, by his own admission, Garcia wasn't sure would be big enough for his compact family. A large Fiat Freemont was on the radar if the little Fiat SUV didn't cut it.
Singin' in the Rain is currently showing at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney. The stage spectacular will then move on to Brisbane and Adelaide, before wrapping up in Perth mid-January.
An unfortunate calf injury has sidelined Garcia and he will return to his role as Don Lockwood on the Brisbane leg, so I had the opportunity to catch up with the heartthrob from the 2000 film Coyote Ugly and find out how he is getting on with the Fiat 500X.
Garcia is intelligent, engaging and has an interest in a wide scope of topics and we talked everything from expanding and elastic universes, to Susan Sarandon and muscle cars. Very appropriately, it was raining at the time.
CarAdvice: When you first arrived in Australia, was Fiat on your shopping list?
Adam Garcia: No it wasn’t, I wasn’t even aware of the Fiat 500x. The Freemont is much bigger but we decided to have a look at the 500x and see if it would be appropriate.
We drove around and thought, this is perfect. It’s exactly right for a small compact family, to be travelling around in a small compact SUV.
It has a lot of character and the European size makes sense for us. It was interesting because, we got caught out in that big massive storm recently. My wife was driving and she doesn’t know Sydney that well. She had the sat nav on but couldn’t see a thing in the weather and didn’t know where she was going. So I told her to go to a major street and I’ll find her. I saw the car coming. I could immediately recognise, that’s a Fiat 500X, it doesn’t look like anything else. It’s very distinctive and good looking – so Italian.
What was your first car?
My first car was a hand-me-down white Triumph 2000 Mk2. It was literally bulletproof because it was made from solid steel so very safe and weighed 500,000 tonnes – it was an icebreaker! It was originally my grandmother's and had a full wooden dash; it was beautiful.
My cousin had it first, then my other cousin, then my brother got to drive it and finally it was my turn – so I don’t know how many thousands of miles it had done, but it was a lot. We got it towed away in the end, but we should have got it embalmed or something, it was such a great car. Harry the Huntsman lived in the car with me.
Are you a car person?
I’m a car person now, but I actually didn't really used to be. My brother was into muscle cars and had a Holden HQ Monaro for a while. My uncle collected cars, he had a penchant for Ferrari and had a Ferrari Dino which was so good looking.
I started to appreciate them. I had what I call classic cars, a Volvo P1800, the same as the one from The Saint, same colour too. Then I brought a 1974 BMW 3.0CS – a really good looking two-door car. So I like European cars.
What are your favourite things about the Fiat 500X?
You want a car with utility, but also something that’s a bit distinct looking and not just a bland box. I think car manufacturers are starting to do that with lots of things, take even the Nissan Qashqai – the new one is a very good-looking car.
You’re not just buying something for utility, you want it to have some sort of personality and I think the Fiat 500X does that. I guess people want a blend – or at least that’s what I want – a blend of personality and function. Something as simple as just being able to go to the shops and have a car that is quiet, fuel efficient and safe.
We know that you sing in the rain, but do you sing in the car?
All the time. In fact it’s probably the one thing that doesn’t put my daughter to sleep in the car. There is always lots of singing and my wife is actually a much better singer than me so she often takes control in that department.
She loves musicals, she knows all the songs. I’m in musicals but I don’t listen to musicals so there’s always a bit of an argument about what should go on the iPod.
Has being a parent changed how you use your car and what you look for in a car?
Definitely, you need something that will haul your family around that’s efficient and comfortable, possibly vomit proof and safe. Come to think of it, my Volvo P1800 is possibly the antithesis of a family car.
Cars are now an incredible sleep device for my daughter. Put her in the baby seat and drive around. You do use them for different purposes now. There is utility in them, I mean they are a utility device essentially.
The Fiat has a rear-view camera, and I never thought I’d need one of those but it’s really handy.
Singin’ in the Rain is an iconic story. Is the show close to the musical?
MGM classic musical, rated the best, the greatest musical of all time. This one is close, even script wise it’s very, very close to the movie. There are various versions of the theatre production, but there’s no getting away from the movie.
You can’t escape the fact that Gene Kelly was a genius and Donald O’Conner was an amazing entertainer. The whole movie was so iconic that you can never get out of its shadow so they wanted to quite literally pay homage to it, tweak it to a certain extent but keep the tone of it, the sensibility and the joy of it. As much as people feel that nostalgia for it, they would get that replicated on stage.
What is something you’d like to do in your career that you haven’t done yet?
I think I’d like to do an action movie. Why not? I don’t think I could do Kung Fu, probably more Terminator or something set in space, maybe a bit of Aliens, that sort of thing.
What's next for you?
Hopefully a holiday when the show finishes in Perth in January. Maybe a nice long drive in the Fiat.
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