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Herald Sun TV Guide Sunday 26/2/06

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Combining school and stardom

Sunday Herald Sun

26 February 2006

While acting may seem like a glamorous career, in reality television stars spend a lot of time waiting.

They might wait around while the director makes a subtle change to a scene or for the cameras to be made ready. They sometimes wait for make-up people to make sure everyone looks just right or for the continuity people to perfect every detail.

Actors wait. And they wait.

Rhys Wakefield, who plays Luc Holden in Home And Away (Seven, weekdays at 7pm), fills in his time when waiting on the set by doing his homework. Honest!

"There is so much waiting around in this job and if I am waiting around I just get my homework out and do that," he said. "Very nerdy of me, I know, but I have a laptop and I listen to music and I do my homework."

The actor, 17, is a student at McDonald College of Performing Arts in Sydney and credits his teachers for their helpful and understanding approach to being able to combine Year 12 with a starring role in a successful television show.

Mind you, Wakefield is a gifted student -- he did two of his Year 12 subjects last year "to balance it out a bit" and this year he will do three.

Surprisingly, he is dropping drama this year because he is not at school for the group performances.

"This year I am doing English, maths and biology," he says.

Wakefield says students do two hours of drama, or performing arts, every day.

His character, Luc, is described as a sensitive 15-year-old, the youngest son of the close-knit Holden family who has just moved in to Summer Bay.

Dad Tony and older brother Jack are more like best mates and Luc is a typical sports-loving teenager, with a deeper side.

So how does Wakefield cope with a career and homework?

"I prioritise," he said. "That is a big part of this whole thing. I prioritise friends and work on the same level.

"I think if I didn't, well, school is the beginning, not the end and if I didn't have a social life then everything would start to crumble and it would probably reflect at work and in school.

"So I just try to make time for friends and I got my P-plates recently so it has built an extra bridge of social interaction."

Asked about some of his favourite scenes so far on Home And Away, he said Matilda and Lucas' first kiss was fun, "very cool".

Indiana Evans plays his love interest, Matilda Hunter, in Home And Away.

As to the future, Wakefield said he would love to do movies, "I would love to get into that part of the industry," he said.

"I don't have too many expectations, I just want to keep acting.

"Movies would be awesome, but this (acting in Home And Away) is such a great experience, I am learning so much."

He considers himself lucky, "at the moment", but says he knows the role is not going to last forever.

"It is probably far more secure as a acting job than most others," Wakefield said.

"I hope to go to America, to LA, to try my luck there. Try my luck in the big city."

Our Kids' TV Page reviewers would love kids to write to them about their favourite shows. Our address is kidstv@heraldsun.com.au

Win a signed Home And Away script

Sunday Herald Sun

26 February 2006

Home And Away stars have signed a copy of an episode's script for one lucky Sunday Herald Sun TV Guide reader. See details below for your chance to win this unique prize.


HOME And Away first went to air on Channel Seven on January 16, 1988.

THE series is set in the fictitious beachside town of Summer Bay.

THE original family heads were Tom and Pippa Fletcher, who began fostering children because they could not have any of their own.

THE idea for the popular series came from Alan Bateman, then Seven's head of drama, after a visit to the country where he saw a home for foster children being built.

ORIGINAL cast members still in the series include Ray Meagher who plays Alf Stewart and Kate Ritchie who is Sally Fletcher. Kate joined the show when she was nine. Kate is now 27.

RAY and Kate are in the Guinness World Record book as the longest serving actors on an Australian soap.

HOME And Away is seen in more than 50 countries around the world with an average audience of 50 million viewers each weeknight.

SOME of the actors who have appeared include US-based Julian McMahon, Craig McLachlan, Dannii Minogue, Guy Pearce and Heath Ledger. Those who have made guest appearances include John Farnham, Michael Palin, Kieren Perkins, Matt Welsh, Samantha Reilly, Susie O'Neill, Annalise Braakensiek and Ian Thorpe.

To enter the draw, answer the following question:

What is the name of the fictitious beachside town where Home And Away is set?

Send your entries to our new competition email address:


Entries close at 5pm on Monday, March 13, and the winner's names will be published on Sunday, April 2.

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