Ruffo rocks Sum­mer Bay

The X Fac­tor was just the start of this heart­throb’s ca­reer, writes Holly Byrnes

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Johnny Ruffo -

IT seems only fit­ting that cheeky singer, dancer and now ac­tor Johnny Ruffo is mak­ing his Home And Away de­but on April Fool’s Day. No, news of his cast­ing is no prac­ti­cal joke, but cap­tures the ap­peal of this tradie-turnedtriple threat, who has ‘‘ done what­ever it takes’’ to charm and grind his way from one op­por­tu­nity on the small screen to the next, all while hav­ing the max­i­mum amount of fun.

As his large con­tin­gent of fe­male fol­low­ers will tell you, the former con­creter from Perth is not averse to get­ting his shirt off or flirt­ing fu­ri­ously when re­quired — a tac­tic which served him all the way to the fi­nale of Chan­nel 7’s The X Fac­tor in 2011, then on to his ball­room blitz on Danc­ing With The Stars.

But now, the 25-year-old wants to be taken more se­ri­ously, both for his work ethic and his am­bi­tious act­ing plans.

Scor­ing the role of charis­matic Chris, brother to Sum­mer Bay reg­u­lar Spencer Har­ring­ton (played by An­drew Mor­ley) was not gifted to Ruffo, as some may sug­gest, and only came af­ter he’d been knocked back the first time.

I’m a fun kind of guy but at the end of the day I’m very se­ri­ous about what I do

that get to me. I thought I’ll go away, do more re­hearsals and have more coach­ing. Did that, came back again, au­di­tioned for this part and they rang to say I got it.’’

That’s the thing with Ruffo — it’s easy to be dis­tracted by the court jester an­tics, the cougar-li­cious head­lines link­ing him to sassy, sin­gle Dan­nii Minogue and that buff bod, but the guy means busi­ness.

Mak­ing no apolo­gies for his ap­proach, Ruffo says: ‘‘ Look, I’m a fun kind of guy but at the end of the day I’m very se­ri­ous about what I do. I love my ca­reer, my job and I don’t take it for granted. I work ex­tremely hard and will do what­ever it takes to main­tain it.’’ A bolted-on sense of self be­lief has also helped the Boy of sum­mer: Johnny Ruffo on set (top) and on en­ter­tain­ment new­bie keep his feet mov­ing from one step­ping stone to the next, obliv­i­ous to his de­trac­tors or crit­ics of the fast-track to fame route of re­al­ity tal­ent shows.

Sim­ply put, he ‘‘ doesn’t care what peo­ple think be­cause if I did I wouldn’t have done X Fac­tor, Home And Away or Danc­ing With The Stars.

‘‘ Peo­ple are go­ing to judge no mat­ter what I do, you just have to seize the day and take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity that comes your way. Just do the best you can.’’

He must be do­ing some­thing right. Chan­nel 7 ex­ec­u­tives are open in their re­spect for Ruffo.

He has re­turned the faith, mak­ing him­self avail­able to their an­nual char­ity fundraiser, the Good Fri­day Ap­peal (in aid of Mel­bourne’s chil­dren’s hospi­tal) for the sec­ond year run­ning.

Ruffo ad­mits he gets plenty back in re­turn.

‘‘ I’ve been so for­tu­nate in the last two years. For me to spend one day there, vis­it­ing the kids, an­swer­ing phones, what­ever, is noth­ing really. I just love be­ing there and see­ing the smiles on the kids’ faces. You can’t beat it.’’ Home­And Away, Chan­nel 7, week­nights, 7pm Do­nate to the Royal Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal Good Fri­day Ap­peal at good­fri­dayap­peal.com.au or phone 9292 1166

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