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