Lin­coln learns the hard way

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - COLIN VICK­ERY NEIGH­BOURS, Eleven, week­days, 6.30pm

SOME­TIMES life gives you a good swift kick up the bum. Just ask Lin­coln Lewis who, in 2009, was at the cen­tre of a sex tape scan­dal at the height of his fame on Home and Away.

Lewis, 24, who played God- lov­ing Ge­off Camp­bell on the Seven soapie, filmed an in­ti­mate act with a teenage TV star­let and showed it on his phone.

Seven coun­selled Lewis, son of rugby league leg­end Wally Lewis, over the in­dis­cre­tion.

There are two ways to re­act to that sort of wake- up call. One is to ig­nore it and keep re­peat­ing the bad be­hav­iour. Think Char­lie Sheen.

The other is to take a hard look at your­self, con­front your demons and change ways. Lewis chose the sec­ond. He quit Home and Away in Septem­ber 2009 and has put to­gether a di­verse body of act­ing work.

He starred along­side Caitlin Stasey and Rachel Hurd- Wood in hit Aussie movie To­mor­row When the War Be­gan. Then he played sta­tion co­or­di­na­tor Vince Mar­cello’s ( Peter Phelps) son Sam, in Res­cue Spe­cial Ops.

Last year he fea­tured in ac­claimed teen drama SLIDE as fire­man Dy­lan Gal­lagher and Un­der­belly: Ra­zor as sly grog queen Kate Leigh’s young as­so­ci­ate, Bruce Higgs.

Lewis is also set to be­gin a month­long guest stint on Neigh­bours as charmer Do­minic Emmerson and will star in Nine’s new fam­ily drama Tricky Busi­ness.

‘‘ A few years ago, I thought I’d never work again,’’ Lewis says. ‘‘ I wanted to have my name out there [ in the me­dia] for act­ing [ but] stupid events put me there for the wrong rea­sons.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways been raised that if you make a mis­take then you ad­mit to it.

‘‘ All I wanted to do af­ter that [ sex tape scan­dal] was put my head down and work.

‘‘ I’ve never been more mo­ti­vated to work hard – to keep show­ing that the rea­son I was there [ on TV] in the first place was the act­ing.’’

All of that hard work is pay­ing off. Lewis brings a won­der­ful light­ness of touch to his Neigh­bours role.

Do­minic comes into Kate Ram­say’s life when she es­capes from Mel­bourne to Port Dou­glas. Kate ( Ash­leigh Brewer, pic­tured with Lewis) loses her mo­bile phone on the beach, Do­minic finds it and sparks fly. At first Kate is sus­pi­cious of smoothtalk­ing Do­minic but slowly she melts.

It was a re­union- of- sorts for Lewis and Brewer, who briefly had acted to­gether on chil­dren’s se­ries The Sleep­over Club in 2003. The Port Dou­glas so­journ also is a fil­lip af­ter an emo­tion­ally tor­tur­ous year.

Kate had a whirl­wind ro­mance with De­tec­tive Mark Bren­nan ( Scott Mc­gre­gor) but it came to a pre­ma­ture end when he was forced to flee Erins­bor­ough for wit­ness pro­tec­tion rea­sons.

A dev­as­tated Kate had be­gun to move on with her life when she learned Bren­nan was dead.

Things got worse when Kate kissed Year 12 stu­dent Noah Park­ing ( Or­pheus Pledger) and her teach­ing ca­reer hung in the bal­ance. Brewer, nom­i­nated for best new tal­ent at the 2010 Lo­gie Awards, clearly is a star- on- the- rise and she has rel­ished the chance to tackle so many meaty scenes.

‘‘ Kate has been through a lot of heartache,’’ Brewer says. ‘‘ Every­thing gets too much so she needs to have a break, get away, and find her­self again.’’

Some pun­dits were sur­prised Lewis would de­cide to go back to a soapie af­ter leav­ing Home and Away but he says it was a no- brainer.

‘‘ The pro­duc­ers said it [ Do­minic] was go­ing to be a fun role to play, that it would take a week to shoot, and that it would be in Port Dou­glas,’’ Lewis, who was born and raised in Bris­bane, says.

‘‘ I had just fin­ished Un­der­belly. I got to re­turn to Queens­land. That’s all I needed.

‘‘ At the start, Do­minic comes across as an­noy­ing but as time goes by you see it is just a cheeky per­sis­tence.

‘‘ He has a live­for- the- mo­ment at­ti­tude. Noth­ing is too much drama for him.’’

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