When did you first hear about the role of Brax and what was the audition process like?
"I first heard about the role from my agent and was initially not sure I'd suit the role, being from the country. But when I got past that and looked at the type of person Brax was, I thought I could offer something - I've been around blokes like him my whole life. The audition process was a lot of fun. In the call back I got to work with Esther, which was a lot of fun and a big help. It takes the nerves away a bit when you're working with someone who's as good as her and who has no ego."
How was the character of Brax first described to you?
"As the leader of an outlaw surfie gang. I thought of all the blokes I've met working and playing sport who are feared but also able to lead men. They are generally pretty unassuming and laid back because they are confident that they can handle things when push comes to shove."
Since you've started filming as Brax, has anything about him surprised you or been different from what you expected?
"Not really - I've learnt a lot from playing the character, though. He comes from a completely different set of circumstances from me. He exists in a world that I was always taught was wrong. But his motivation is universal - he wants to make something of himself and escape a 'normal' life. I could relate to that because it involves a lot of risk. I guess acting does too."
The River Boys received quite a lot of coverage in the media before they appeared on screen for the first time. Were you surprised by all the attention?
"I was surprised by it and I didn't really like it. I've always been someone to do the job first and then see if people like it. Having said that, it was comforting to know that the producers had enough confidence in what they were seeing us do each day to get the word out before we went to air. And as far as I know, it's paid off. People are enjoying the new storyline."
"It's fun to play any character when you find the good and bad sides of them. We all have the capacity for both."
We're about to see Brax kiss Charlie when she orders him to keep his gang under control. Does he like her romantically or is he just trying to show her who's boss?
"It's a bit of both. For a bloke like Brax, Charlie is pretty ideal - she's smart, sexy and is strong enough to take him on. He's all about testing himself and he knows he'll be running a gauntlet if he pursues her. She's got that X-factor he can't ignore. After the arrest, things will develop dangerously between them. It'll be tense to watch!"
Do you get on well with Lincoln Younes and Daniel Ewing, who play your on-screen brothers?
"Yeah. We are all share a few traits with our characters, so being out together is always a lot of fun. Dan gets us into trouble, I get us out of trouble and Linc sits back and shakes his head!"
"Esther is top fun to work with and a really, really talented actress, so I've been lucky. Luke Jacobz and I have also had a heap of scenes together and he's the same - very professional, talented and one of the funniest people I've met."
How welcoming have the Home and Away cast been and what was your first day on set like?
"It's the best working environment and best job I've had. Ever. My first day I was running a bit late and almost swung my car into Ray Meagher's car when I was parking. I'd been working till midnight at my old job and was due up at Palmy at 5am. I got there at 5.05am, had that near-miss, and then sprinted over to wardrobe. He was kind enough to let it slide!"
Are you looking forward to working with Ray properly when he returns to Home and Away following his break?
"I'm really looking forward to when he gets back. I'm told he loves rugby so, given how much I enjoy it, I'm sure we'll have a bit to talk about. He is a Queenslander though, which means we are technically sworn enemies. It'll be interesting!"
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6.00pm on Channel 5.