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Soap star played to his own tune

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Soap star played to his own tune

The Courier-Mail

19 July 2006

HOME and Away star Mark Furze was never one of the cool kids at school.

That's because the actor, 20, who has played bad boy Ric Dalby on the long-running Channel 7 soap since 2005, was more interested in playing music and performing in school productions than running around a rugby field.

"I remember, back in my younger high school years, I did get a bit of grief because I didn't play rugby and I didn't do cadets, I played soccer at a rugby school and I was more interested in music and acting," Furze says.

"I wish I could go back to school now and have them bully me because I would know how to deal with it much, much better, but back then I would just shut down a bit and try to ignore it.

"I found that as we got a bit older people became more mature and their response to what I was doing started to get a bit better, but after being a bit of an outsider at school it's now so full on to be on the telly and be walking up the red carpet, that stuff is so weird to me.

"My friends treat me the same, I know who my mates are and I know who the people are who gave me **** at school and now they are trying to suck up to me and wanting to be my friend, it's funny how things change."

After struggling to finish secondary school Furze decided not to continue his studies by applying to attend one of the institutions that trains Australia's aspiring actors and instead went after a television role to learn the trade.

"I am using Home and Away as my training and what better way to be learning than to be doing it every day," he says. "I love my character, I am so happy with my role and I think he's great because he gets into fights and has a bit of a temper, but he's also quite moral, he's so different from me and I think it's excellent to be able to test myself that way."

With a background in music the actor jumped at the chance to appear on It Takes Two beside his professional singing partner Rachael Beck and Furze is considered by some of the other contestants to have one of the better singing voices of the competing celebrities.

Furze is using the coaching he's getting on It Takes Two to build his voice as he works to get new band Charger off the ground. The ensemble plans to start playing live next month.

"Acting definitely came first but I love music, and I am really into old-school heavy metal like AC/DC, I listen to that stuff every day," he says.

Home and Away, Seven, weeknights 7pm; It Takes Two, Seven, Sunday 6.30pm

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