Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch - BY COLIN VICK­ERY

CATHER­INE Mack has what many women would think is the best job on tele­vi­sion.

The Aussie ac­tor gets to ro­mance River Boy hunk Dar­ryl ‘‘ Brax’’ Brax­ton (Steve Pea­cocke) on Home and Away.

Mack plays coun­sel­lor Natalie Dav­i­son on the Chan­nel 7 soapie.

The ro­mance be­tween Natalie and Brax is com­pli­cated. Natalie is help­ing Brax’s brother Casey cope in the wake of shoot­ing dad Danny dur­ing an armed rob­bery gone wrong.

Mack’s Home and Away role comes af­ter a swag of guest parts — Win­ners & Losers, Blue Heel­ers, Neigh­bours — over the past decade.

Fin­ish this sen­tence: ‘‘Ro­manc­ing Steve Pea­cocke is . . .’’

Great. We’re al­ways laugh­ing. The ro­mance be­tween Natalie and Brax shows a dif­fer­ent side to Steve’s char­ac­ter.

Please ex­plain.

There are a few dark twists and turns that come up that make Brax not have that flirty re­la­tion­ship he had with (for­mer girl­friend) Char­lie (Es­ther An­der­son). It’s not that they’re court­ing. They’re thrown to­gether.

Howhave fe­male fans re­acted to the ro­mance and the kiss­ing scenes?

Some of them have turned. Some­times they’re like, ‘Ooh, you get to kiss Brax. Bitch!’ Women love him. They don’t hold back, that’s for sure.

I hear there are some Out­back scenes com­ing up, shot around the Flin­ders Ranges.

Yes. Natalie and Brax go on a res­cue mis­sion. I can’t say much but it is very dif­fer­ent to Sum­mer Bay. We spent a week there. It felt like a mini-film.

What do you make of Natalie?

Ini­tially she comes on to the show just in her pro­fes­sional ca­pac­ity and then you slowly see parts of her pri­vate life. She hasn’t had a whole lot of ex­pe­ri­ence in her field but her work is her life.

You’ve done a de­gree in crim­i­nol­ogy. I guess that would come in handy deal­ing with the River Boys.

Ha. The rea­son I went to univer­sity was be­cause my par­ents thought it would be a good idea. My mum is a crim­i­nol­o­gist so I’ve got a bit of that in my veins. I did a diploma of cre­ative arts — act­ing and pho­tog­ra­phy — at the same time. I find academia in­ter­est­ing but I was never pas­sion­ate about it.

You came back from the US to take up the Home and Away role. What were you do­ing over there?

I was study­ing act­ing. I had just fin­ished that when I got this role. I didn’t move over there to break into Hol­ly­wood. I’d al­ways planned on com­ing back to Aus­tralia. Home and Away Chan­nel 7, week­nights, 7pm

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