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Boy from the Bay

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Boy from the Bay MX (Melbourne, Australia)

May 21, 2007

Author: HANNA MILLS shim.gif From superheroes to supermodels, this young Aussie actor has Hollywood in his sights





A Batman movie first sparked Rhys Wakefield's interest in the acting world.

``I fell in love with the idea of being a superhero,'' the young Home and Away star laughs.

He even took gymnastics classes in a bid to one day realise his dream.

The desire for the superhero tag soon faded, but the lights of the entertainment industry continued to beckon.

Wakefield, 18, took acting classes at Sydney's McDonald College of Performing Arts, performed in school productions and Shakespeare festivals, and worked with Opera Australia and the Australian Ballet.

But the Cairns-born rising star is in no hurry to follow some of his Home and Away castmates on to Dancing with the Stars or It Takes Two.

``I think acting is the way I want to go,'' he says.

And he's giving it a red-hot go.

While Wakefield has made himself at home in Summer Bay with his character Lucas (Luc) Holden over the past two years, he recently took a break to make a film.

Shooting wrapped on Aussie drama The Black Balloon a couple of months ago and Wakefield is looking forward to the planned release of the film at the Toronto International Film Festival later this year.

He appears in the film alongside Toni Collette and model Gemma Ward.

``It was so intense. It was great, amazing,'' he says enthusiastically.

The cast and crew worked 13-hour days, six days a week for six weeks.

But it was worth every second, Wakefield says.

``Working alongside Toni Collette was so nerve-racking.

``When we did takes, she never did things the same.

``She was always taking the opportunity to make things better.''

And there was added pressure in starring alongside Ward because she plays his love interest in the film.

``It was a bit like, `I have to go work with a supermodel today it's just a day's work','' Wakefield joked.

He has also recently signed with a US agent and plans to set up meetings with people in LA later this year. Before then, he plans to spend time with his mates in London and Paris.

An irregular work routine means it's difficult to plan too much outside of work.

But Wakefield says being in the spotlight has helped strengthen his relationships.

While he juggled HSC and Home and Away responsibilities last year, he said his friends were a great support.

``I had that solid group who stood by me and came after school and were teaching me what they had learned,'' he says.

Need to know

All-time favourite show?

South Park. It is just so satirical nothing is sacred.

Current fave show?

The Office. I have been watching it on DVD.

Wouldn't watch if you paid me:

Big Brother. I think it is extremely stupid . . . and it puts actors out of work.

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