Blue Water High: articles


Treading the boards ... the cast of Blue Water High.

Aussie beach soapie tipped to woo Europeans

Rebecca Breeds looks younger than the teen she plays on Blue Water High but talks like someone 10 years older. Her eyes reveal the intensity of ambition, of a career being mapped behind the retina. "You do have to be very strategic," she says between scenes of the ABC soap, now in its third season. "And there's a lot of luck. And a lot of it is just talent, working your arse off."

Breeds is 20 but was auditioning for the part of a 15-year-old on Home And Away when Blue Water High wrapped last month. She has put a lot of thought into her look and says appearing younger than other actors will help her longevity. "Everyone tells me when I'm 40 I'm going to look 30," she says, "so even into the future hopefully that's going to give me a longer shelf life."

Ambition is tightly stowed, battened down in the interest of civility. "The girls in this show are really good," Breeds says. "Even though we're all very similar - we're the same age, we go for a lot of the same parts - we're so supportive of each other. We don't bitch or fight."

The show's Newport set bubbles with lightly covered enterprise. Blue Water High follows a year in the Solar Blue surf academy, so every season there's a new cast. Adam Saunders, from series one, went on to Home And Away. Gabrielle Scollay, from series two, followed. James Sorensen has since secured a lead in Neighbours. And Tahyna Tozzi has been linked to Ian Thorpe and Koby Abberton since her role in the first season. The young actors are about to spend the next decade stepping over each other for parts.

"Right now I'm in that age where I'm kind of just creeping up on the guys like Sam Worthington," says Kain O'Keeffe, who plays Guy. "Hopefully, off the back of this, I'll get a bit of work and see what happens. Lachie [Buchanan, who plays Charley] is the same - but Lachie and I look different so it's not like, in that sense, we could be competing."

The young actors are at a point in life when many of their friends are at university or starting careers. However, they don't seem fazed by the instability of the industry. As with Breeds, most have the future mapped out in their heads. "I am my own business. I am my own product," she says. "I am my own spokesperson - apart from my agent, obviously. You've always got to be on your game and you've always got to make sure you're networking."

Many have benefited from a practice whereby shows take actors on a two-year cycle to fill minor roles. In 2004, O'Keefe played a bully on Blue Water High for two episodes and now he is a lead. "That does show that the industry's quite small," he says. "People who've watched it from the start will see the same characters over and over again."

Blue Water High returns to ABC1 on Thursday at 5.30pm.

By Erik Jensen
March 31, 2008
Sydney Morning Herald