Geoffrey Rush is one of our national treasures – a man of incredible grace, poise, dignity, and gravitas. Please allow us to ruin that for you by showing you footage of a young Geoffrey Rush as a super dorky clowning enthusiast.

Rush has somehow managed to have a career defined both by being a darling of the theatre and a celebrated independent cinema actor, while also being largely known for playing a pirate in a movie series adapted from a theme park ride. He is living the dream.

Right now he’s doing the promotional circuit for ‘Pirates Of The Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‘, the fifth instalment in the franchise, and he stopped by ‘The Weekly‘ to have a wee chat with Charlie Pickering about playing geniuses, ageing and never meeting Johnny Depp‘s illegal dogs.

Thanks to some digging around in the ABC archives (which I picture as a huge, dusty, cobweb-filled library lit by candles) they found an interview from 1978 with a Geoffrey Rush who would have been about 27 at the time and was apparently very earnest about the fine art of clowning.

Rush studied at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq (which I believe is French for ‘Clown School’), a physical theatre school in France, which he says is more about “an approach to acting through movement” than clowning, but (rest assured) definitely involved some clowning.

You can see Rush as a perfect goofy 20-something angel from around the 3:15 mark, you can see him as a perfect normal angel for the rest of the interview:

Source and photo: ABC / The Weekly.