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Interview with Chris Sadrinna and Rhys Wakefield

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ChillOut! – The Sunday Times

29 Oct. 06

Find out a little more about two of your favourite Home and Away stars.

ChillOut! had a chat with them on set in Sydney.

Chris Sadrinna plays Brad Armstrong

Q. How long have you been on Home and Away?

A. I started a week after Bob Morley, who plays Drew Curtis – so about five months.

Q. How did you get involved in acting?

A. A mate dragged me along to the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) and I started doing classes. I had auditions for plays each year, and I went along and got a role, and thought, “Hey, I can do this”. I then went out and got an agent, and started getting small roles, which progressively got bigger. I never really studied acting, but chose my teachers and classes well.

Q. Is Home and Away your first TV series?

A. I have been on other TV shows, and on film and theatre, but this is my first lead role in a series. I have been an actor for 12 years. This is a week-to-week, full-time job and is so different to what I have done in the past. It is a full-on workload.

Q. Isn’t the grounding from Home and Away invaluable?

A. I think, as an actor, if you can do this, you can so anything. I am getting three or four days to learn the following week’s work, and I think for the amount of lines, most shows would allow a couple of weeks.

Q. The storylines have also been intense.

A. They have been big and up and down - in fact, all over the place. There has been some stuff between Sally and I that we have had to deal with, along with the obvious storyline. Sometimes when I see what the writers have got planned for us, I go, “Wow, where do they come up with this stuff?” The directors sometimes have a real problem with what they have to work with as they have a two-week turnaround. Even after that amount of time, they come back and check out what is happening. It also means that sometimes I have massive weeks where in one day I am in up to 18 scenes – and that happens quite a bit.

Q. How hard is it to play some of these storylines?

A. You just fly by the seat of your pants and do the best you can. It is sometimes tricky, but all the storylines, help build your character. You get different elements out of everything. I initially started as Emily’s partner, then got the teaching position and then the principal role, and it wasn’t until four months, in that I had a role with children – the students at the school. So, that was the first time I could apply acting like a principal.

Q. How much of Brad is you?

A. I think it is quite a lot. Because the show moves so quickly, you have to draw on your own personal experiences.

Q. Do you have time to learn from the cast and directors you work with?

A. I was talking to someone last night, and not only do you work with amazing people, but you get to learn so many new things such as telephone acting – lots of strange learning curves – marking essays. So I would be really good at marking acting.

Q. Where do you see yourself going with Home and Away?

A. I plan to be here for a while, and for the time being, I want to learn as much as I can about working on television. I am very happy with this full-time job – turning up and trying to do the best I can. This is a massive challenge and an acting gig you can’t train for.

Q. What do you get up to in your spare time?

A. I have a family with two children, so I love spending time with them. We live on the northern beaches, so we try and so as many nice things as we can – go to the beach, spend time at home, catching up with friends. We use our local area and get out and about. I love surfing too.

Rhys Wakefield plays Lucas Holden

Q. How long have you been on Home and Away?

A. I think it is a year and five months. I just know the time has flown and I have learnt so much.

Q. Tell me how you got involved in acting?

A. When I was little, I loved the thought of being in films playing the super-hero. I have always wanted to act. Our neighbours’ daughter went to McDonald College of Performing Arts and then I joined. I started auditioning and got this gig. I had an agent, and when this audition came up, I had the script faxed through to me, and then started this insanely long auditioning process.

Q. Is this your first TV series?

A. Yes, my work before had been in theatre, then worked with Opera Australia, in La Boheme and was in two productions with the Australian Ballet.

Q. Tell me about how Lucas has developed?

A. He started as a brooding young teen, who doesn’t express his feelings or emotions. A lot of this stems from his mother passing away when he was younger – so he didn’t really know her. The character really has a chance to develop with the amazing storylines. He has opened up a lot more and can verbalise his emotions. Luckily, he has also learnt to talk to women.

Q. How different is he to you?

A. Sometimes I get frustrated by his stupidity in not venting his emotions, and sometimes he gets stuck in situations where he doesn’t talk to people. Some aspects of his life are very like mine, like the way he deals with certain situations.

Q. How hard is filming?

A. How busy you are during the week is at the writers’ discretion. Sometimes it is two days a week, other times it is five days. It can be really hard when the storylines are intense – and other times it is light and breezy.

Q. Are there things you would change if you were the writer?

A. I do come up with little storyline ideas, which I could bring to the table when we catch up with the writers every couple of months. That is the time to voice any objections about what they want you to do. When we rehearse, there are sometimes lines which might not flow, or might not be what you think your character would say, and that is the time to subtly change it. I know Lucas really well and know what he would say in certain circumstances. So I sometimes rework stuff like that.

Q. Is television where you can see yourself staying in the next few year?

A. I would love to go into film at some stage and hit the stage too for some live theatre.

Q. Are there films you have seen that have appealed to you as an actor?

A. I would love to be in a film such as American Beauty, where the characters were so complex. At the moment, I am learning so much, it has completely exceeded my expectations. The cast are so willing to teach and guide me. It is really cool.

Q. What do you do when you are not on Home and Away?

A. I am still at McDonald College and have my HSC at the end of the year. They have been really understanding with my exams coming up. Catching up with my friends is really important.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks very much for posting. It's a real insight into the show from their point of view. Interesting that they chat to the writers "every couple of months", and can "subtly change" the odd line.

And like bella, I too thought Rhys saying: "Luckily, he has also learnt to talk to women." was pretty funny!

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