Cameron Daddo on his late soapie debut

When he recently began a guest role on Home & Away, Cameron Daddo made his debut in soap opera.

He’s worked as a performer since 1987 on stage and screen, but the closest he’s ever come to soap was Melrose Place spin-off Models Inc. alongside such names as Linda Gray and Carrie-Anne Moss.

“I would see that as an evening soap, or melodrama. But that was the only one I did. I’ve never worked on an Australian soap before,” he tells TV Tonight.

But playing singer-songwriter Evan, the estranged father of Home & Away‘s Ryder (Lukas Radovich), he was kept on his toes with their frenetic pace.

“As actors we can spend a lot of time standing around and contemplating our navels while while we’re waiting for set-ups and things like that. But that just doesn’t exist in the world of Home & Away. I often found myself saying, ‘We’re actually doing this!'” he recalls.

“It’s like one rehearsal for cameras and then bang, you’re into it! If everything fell in, we’re moving on.

“What I enjoyed about it was how present I needed to be in order to tell the story.”

“So, what I enjoyed about it was how present I needed to be in order to tell the story. There was not a lot of time for contemplation or overthinking, which can often make acting a bit tiresome to watch.

“It’s more instinctual, which I really enjoyed.”

The storyline has revolved around Evan’s ailing health as a trigger to reunite with the son he never knew. Along with Lukas Radovich, most of his scenes involved Georgie Parker, Ray Meagher and Emily Symons.

“90% of the acting trick is to know how to listen”

“I was working with a great quartet of actors, and it was always fun. I always left the set thinking ‘What else is there to do?'” he says.

“Lukas is an actor who has a lot of curiosity and he’s very, very talented. It’s a pleasure to work with him because he really listens. To me 90% of the acting trick is to know how to listen.”

The role also allowed him to combine his love of music with acting, including using his original song, Sun & Moon.

“That was a bit of serendipity because I’d been working on a music project with Origin Music and producer Michael Carpenter. We made a record last year called 30-ish which was a 30 year celebratory album of the 1927 album ish. I got to sing the opening track on that record, which I was really excited about. We had such a good experience that we went on we make an album.

“I dug out a bunch of my songs and Sun & Moon was one of them and at the same time, I’d started work on Home and Away.

“I’ve got my catalogue of music, why don’t we use mine?”

“When the producers said ‘We’ve got Mushroom’s back catalogue of music to play,’ I said, ‘Well, I’ve got my catalogue of music, why don’t we use mine? It’ll add more credibility to the character, if I’m playing original songs.'”

Daddo tweaked Sun & Moon, as a father / son song for the show and Radovich has now stepped into the music video. His album is out next week through online music outlets.

Meanwhile Daddo continues as a presenter on smooth fm but is disappointed the channel is leaving Foxtel next week.

“I don’t have anything to do with Smooth on Foxtel anymore and haven’t done for 12 months. I was bummed because I thought it was terrific and I loved working with Foxtel. When they said, ‘We’re just going to have it as videos, we’re not going to do any more presentation pieces, I thought it was a shame,” he maintains.

“People used to stop me all the time and say, ‘I saw you on Smooth.'”

“People used to stop me all the time and say, ‘I saw you on Smooth.’

“I think that was probably the writing on the wall when they decided to do a channel share (with Foxtel Arts).”

He also continues his Separate Bedrooms Podcast with wife Ali and Men’s Team health initiative, whilst remaining pragmatic about the current challenges facing all artists.

“What we’ve found from COVID is we as humans need to be entertained”

“It’s difficult to make a living from our art at the moment. These cycles seem to happen, and it’s just a matter of being able to go ‘Ok, well, this is part of a cycle and new things will come from this.’ It’s a matter of being open and aware and evolving with the change,” he suggests.

“What we’ve found from COVID is we as humans need to be entertained. We want to be entertained, and it’s a matter of finding that next venue, that next platform of entertainment. It’s hard because you’ve got to stay motivated and it can be very tiring. ‘I’ve got to reinvent again. How do we do this?’

“If that’s what you do for a living, that’s what you do in your life, then you kind of just do it.”

Home & Away airs 7pm Monday – Thursdays on Seven.

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