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O'Brien cops hard work

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Sunday Mail

28 May 2006



Paul O'Brien says he's lost all track of time playing resident cop Jack Holden on Seven's Home and Away.

"I keep telling people I've been here for eight months," he says.

"I think that's about right. It's gone really fast. But I'm really enjoying it and I've learnt a lot. It's like an intensive course."

Home and Away recently won a swag of Logies at the award's ceremony in Melbourne.

O'Brien and fellow Home and Away actor Jodi Gordon picked up honours for Most Popular New Male and Female Talent, while the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress went to Kate Ritchie. The soap won the Logie for Most Popular Drama.

O'Brien says Home and Away dominates his life and there's no going down the pub after work because of the need to learn lines. "Even at the weekend I think I shouldn't have too many drinks because there is stuff for me to look at for Monday," O'Brien says.

"I'm looking at it as a three-year window of opportunity, so I'm still trying to focus all my energies on it," he says.

Once his time on Home and Away comes to an end, O'Brien says, he would love to work in film and explore his musical talents further. He is interested in acoustic music, is learning guitar, and has plans with a friend to record six strong songs. One day, he says, he might have "a little recording studio".

He is very aware of how many musicians have made it big after getting a start on TV in Neighbours or Home and Away, and it seems the Home and Away set is particularly musical at the moment. "Everyone sings all the time and you hear some really nice voices going around," he says. "But I suppose it's whether or not they take it to the next level. I think a lot of them are probably quite shy in that respect."

For now, O'Brien's attention is focused on being Jack Holden. "He's a nice guy," O'Brien says of his character in the show.

"He's quite intelligent for his age, but there's drama and conflict all the way."

O'Brien says he and Holden are alike in some ways.

"We look a lot alike," he says with a smile. "But the hair's a bit different; I prefer it spikier."

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He is so sweet and funny. Apparently he had a short stint as a stand up comedian. I hope to see him in some skit shows or something in the future.

So would I. When Jack/Pauk first arrived there was a certain cheekiness about him which was fun to watch. I hope the writers allow him to have some fun once the Bay get's over the wedding's death and destruction. After all of that everyone is going to need some light relief!!

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