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Jason Smith Interview

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tvguide caught up with Jason Smith, star of Home And Away and Dancing With The Stars

The Sunday Mail

10 April 2005

How did it all start?

I did drama in high school, then took some courses at the Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney. I then got an agent and got my first gig up in Broome on a Channel 10 show called Ocean Star. Then I did a US telemovie, then Background Science for the ABC and the Home And Away gig came upin 2003.

Was acting the way you always wanted to go?

I didn't think I would ever do anything else. Acting finds you and it found me and I am not letting go.

Will you continue with TV?

I like the live element on Dancing With The Stars and would like to pursue that a bit more. I love television and want to continue with that but movies are also an option. I'm young [not yet 21] so I can explore and experience a whole bunch of stuff.

Will you stay in front of the camera?

I like being in front of the camera, but maybe, in many years to come, I will look at producing something. I think I will stick with acting and performing for the time being.

What are the Home And Away cast like?

Everyone is awesome and like one giant family. It becomes like that too when you are working together every day and you form a strong bond. I seem to be in a little posse with Isabel Lucas and Christie Hayes and we hang out together and go to the movies.

What's coming up for your character, Robbie Hunter?

Robbie has had a really nice journey with his coming of age. He is a funny, endearing character that people like to watch. He has the Robbie and Tash relationship, the vow of celibacy, then the dark period at the beginning of the year with the syringe. That side of Robbie was great to explore, as an actor, because normally he is so comical. Now he is back to his usual self, clear of HIV and his relationship with Tash is stronger than ever. I think we will see them take their relationship to the next stage.

What do you think of soaps delving into meatier storylines?

I think it's good to face real-life issues and not make it all fluffy. It's important to look at things that affect society. People can then relate to the show and it gives it a strong dramatic element to it.

Is Home And Away a good career-path stepping stone?

I'm building a profile. People such as Julian McMahon and Heath Ledger have been on the show. If acting is your passion, then doors do open this way.

Is the discipline needed for a soap different to that needed for, say, film or stage?

It sure is, and you grow up very quickly. We are shooting five days a week, basically a block a week, and you have to be on top of it - it is one continuous cycle. You have to be disciplined in your acting, know your lines and be on time. I think it is a good training ground and I have heard people say that if you can act in soaps, you canact in anything.

What do you get up to in your free time?

I love the beach. I enjoy hanging out with my mates and going to the movies. Some of my friends have a recording studio and so we hang around there making music - a bit electro, a bit'80s.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

I'd like to go overseas and pursue television, maybe in another series. I want to keep exploring options and go travelling. I would love to do a sitcom. I am only 20 so I have lots of time to experiment.

How did Dancing With The Stars come about?

I was approached by my agent to do it last year and I was always told never to say no to an adventure, so I thought I would give that a go.

Home And Away, Weekdays, 7pm, Seven

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