Play­ing at elite level

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - HOLLY BYRNES RE­VENGE, South­ern Cross, Re­turns Mon­day May 21

CON­SIDER this about South­ern Cross’s hit US drama se­ries Re­venge. The fe­male pro­tag­o­nist Emily Vancamp is Cana­dian, her on- screen boyfriend Josh Bow­man is a for­mer rugby union player from Berk­shire, Eng­land, and the man be­hind the pi­lot is the Aus­tralian di­rec­tor Phillip Noyce.

For Bow­man at least, the chance to break into Hol­ly­wood at such an early stage( 24) is not some­thing he’s keen to brag about to his miffed Amer­i­can mates.

‘‘ They are ac­tu­ally get­ting a bit an­noyed,’’ he says, grin­ning.

‘‘ It’s like ‘ Oh God, here we go. He’s English or he’s Aus­tralian’, but it’s a re­ally good time for us both at the mo­ment. It’s nice that we’re be­ing given a shot.’’

It wasn’t meant to be like this for the young heart- throb. He grew up be­liev­ing rugby was where he would make his mark. Af­ter win­ning a con­tract with Bri­tish club Sara­cens, ev­ery­thing was go­ing to plan when a shoul­der in­jury ef­fec­tively ended his ca­reer dream.

‘‘ I lived and breathed rugby and, like a lot of peo­ple here in Australia, I was ob­sessed with sport but it didn’t re­ally work out.’’

At a dead end at only 19, it took some guts to try a new game plan.

Mov­ing to New York, Bow­man im­mersed him­self in act­ing lessons and mas­ter­ing the Amer­i­can ac­cent.

‘‘ It was the best way to pick it up re­ally, just crack on with it,’’ Bow­man said.

But the rugby train­ing wasn’t for­got­ten en­tirely.

‘‘ The dis­ci­pline in­volved with be­ing a pro­fes­sional sports­man . . . those traits help you in act­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘ Un­less you’ve been through it, you have no idea what it takes to get to an elite level.

‘‘ Emily Vancamp, she was a bal­let dancer and she’s one of the most dis­ci­plined peo­ple I’ve ever met. It’s nice to use that team­work and ca­ma­raderie. And, of course, I’m very com­pet­i­tive.’’ Not ev­ery 25- year- old finds his feet on one of the break­through tele­vi­sion hits of the year, play­ing the charmed life of rich kid Daniel Grayson.

While the cou­ple are coy about con­firm­ing it, Bow­man has also be­gun dat­ing Vancamp – aka Emily Thorne, his on- screen love in­ter­est.

As the se­ries reaches its sea­son one cli­max, lo­cal fans can ex­pect a bit more Daniel on their TV screens as the love tri­an­gle with Emily’s child­hood flame and nice- guy bar­tender Jack Porter heats up.

Sur­pris­ingly, Bow­man is bar­rack­ing for his on- screen ri­val ( played by Nick Wech­sler).

‘‘ I’m def­i­nitely Team Jack,’’ Bow­man says. ‘‘ If I take my­self out of the sit­u­a­tion, I don’t like Daniel. [ Emily] needs to be with this lovely, un­af­fected, beau­ti­ful man with a boat and they can just sail off to­gether. She de­serves that.’’

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