Wellmania a homecoming for Lachlan Buchanan
After roles in Young & the Restless, Dynasty & Station 19, Lachlan Buchanan was happy to be back on home soil.
When Lachlan Buchanan was asked to send a self-tape to producers for Netflix comedy Wellmania, he had been working for over a decade in the US.
Buchanan had been working stateside, donning a faux accent for roles on The Young & the Restless, the Dynasty reboot and Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Station 19.
But the Celeste Barber comedy would mean a chance to return home after the pandemic, performing with fellow Aussies in a genre that would stretch him.
“I didn’t meet anyone until till a week before we started filming,” he tells TV Tonight.
“I was sort of doing two TV shows over in the US at the same time. I was recurring on the remake of Dynasty for The CW and about three seasons of Station 19. So I actually left that early to come down and shoot Wellmania just sort of have a go at something different and come home for a little bit. It had been so long and I’ve been badly missing and wanting to, especially since COVID.
“I hadn’t worked back in Australia for about 14 years, which is insane. So it was kind of like a fresh start in a way, just getting back into it and meeting everybody again.”
But he remains grateful for his US roles, including on The Young and the Restless.
“I did about a year and a half on that one. People turn their noses at soap operas, and I’m guilty of doing that before too. But it was a really wonderful experience. It’s obviously not the most amazing material in the world. But it’s fun, because you can just try stuff … you’re just trying to make the best thing you can in one take.”
Buchanan’s comes despita a knock back from NIDA, having auditioned for the acting course not long after leaving high school.
“They said ,‘Come back when you’ve had a bit more life experience.’ That was sort of the best thing to hear and do, because then I got straight into it all, and it all went from there.”
On Wellmania he plays Gaz Healy, a personal trainer and brother of Barber’s food critic Liv, who has just been offered her dream job in New York judging TV’s biggest new food show. But after returning home to Australia Liv is diagnosed with catastrophic health and her US green card is cancelled. Looking for the quickest route back to New York, she throws herself body-first into a radical wellness journey.
“Gaz helps her get on this path to wellness in a number of ways,” Buchanan explains. “We also delve into a lot of the family issues, because it’s just me, her and our mum, so there’s some things going on there.
“At first it was weird when everyone’s being so crazy and quirky around me. But it’s fun, I get to be the ‘adult in the room.'”
The cast also features JJ Fong, Genevieve Mooy, Lorraine Healy, Simone Kessell, Johnny Carr and Remy Hii as Gaz’s fiancé, Dalbert Tan.
“Remy’s wonderful. He’s just he’s so easy and a giving, wonderful actor. We had such a good time talking through scenes and seeing what we could add to them. We were given a lot of freedom to add things. It was a beautiful creative process with him. I’m very much hoping we get to do a season two so we can see what’s ahead for these two,” he continues.
“One of the things that also attracted me to the role was that he didn’t go into those old tropes and cliches of coming out. There’s a wedding coming up and it just happens to be these two. There’s not some whole big issue. It’s just life.”
While the series adapted by Brigid Delaney and Benjamin Law takes aim at the wellness industry through Barber’s cyclonic comedy style, Buchanan remains a believer in balanced health & fitness.
“I try to stay fit healthy and look after my brain as much as I can. I think it’s great these days it’s more of a thing people talk about, too,” he continued.
“I pretty much workout every day, whether it’s a gym, workout, swimming, surfing, tennis, running, Ultimate Frisbee, Dodgeball, all kinds of things.
“The big thing for me is intermittent fasting. I started doing that a few years ago and it just works for me, and keeps me under control. The times where I do splurge, it’s all good.
“You have a period of time throughout the day where you can eat, so for me, that’s an eight hour window, 11am to 7pm eating healthily in that window. Then from 7pm to 11am. It’s not really as difficult as it sounds, because at that point in the night, you sleep most of that time.
“But the whole journey of wellness is not just physical, it’s also mental. So there’s a lot of issues that have to be dealt with, for her and for all of us.”
Wellmania is now screening on Netflix.