Liam and Indi’s love affair was in the Home And Away script and now they are an item off the set, writes Debbie Schipp
ART is about to imitate life for Home And Away stars Axle Whitehead and Samara Weaving.
Just weeks after publicly owning up to being an off- screen couple, the pair is set to steam up in character on the popular soap.
Whitehead, 31, who plays bad- boy former junkie and former rocker Liam Murphy on the show, and the gorgeous Weaving, 20, who plays impulsive Indi, will come together in a storyline that has them seeking solace in each other’s company as their marriages fall apart.
And in classic soapie tradition, it involves Indi’s husband, Romeo, ( Luke Mitchell) being betrayed not only by his wife, but also his best friend.
‘‘ Liam’s back to his bad boy ways,’’ Whitehead says with a broad grin.
‘‘ He’s been counselling both Romeo and Indi on their marriage, and he and Romeo have been good buddies.
‘‘ Romeo was his best man so he’s really crossing the line here.
‘‘ But have a look at Indi . . . tell me you wouldn’t.’’
If there’s heartfelt sentiment in his words, it’s probably because Whitehead and Weaving found chemistry hard to resist in real life.
The pair dodged the rumours that they were a couple in real life for a couple of months, until a month ago when, after several sightings of them getting cosy, Whitehead finally fessed up.
‘‘ It’s only new, but it’s going really well,’’ he said.
A few weeks on, he’s still tight- lipped, but clearly happy.
‘‘ When we shot these scenes I think we were still just friends,’’ he says. ‘‘ We were just mates, and then we just started getting to know each other. And now, yes, we’re having fun and it’s going well.’’
Whitehead is far more forthcoming about his ride on Home And Away, which began three- and- a- half years ago with a 15- episode guest role that turned into a full- time gig.
Whitehead had carved out a career as a musician, making the Top 20 on the first series of Australian Idol in 2003, before being picked up by Channel 10 to host music show Video Hits.
That all went pear- shaped in October 2006 when he exposed his penis on stage at the annual Aria Awards, while presenting an award with radio jock Jabba.
Dumped by Ten, it was a wake- up call for Whitehead, who returned to the family
farm in country Victoria to take some time out and concentrate on his music.
‘‘ When I got booted from Channel 10 it was a real realisation that ‘ s---, I might be buggered now’,’’ he says.
‘‘ I’m not a saint by any means. I have always liked to push the boundaries.
‘‘ As a kid I got booted from school. I put it down to growing up on a farm, being a bit naughty and always doing stupid s---. ‘‘ But I have learned. ‘‘ I admit to my mistakes, and I’m still learning.
‘‘ I think if you honestly learn from mistakes and don’t repeat them, you can redeem yourself.’’
Whitehead was unsure how to get back into the entertainment industry, and began taking acting lessons.
‘‘ I was lucky enough to come out with a successful song and an
He’s really crossing the line here. But have a look at Indi . . . tell me you wouldn’t
album and that kind of got me back into the picture,’’ he says.
After taking acting lessons for 18 months, Whitehead auditioned for the role of Liam, and more than three years on, remains as a regular cast member.
‘‘ I love the character, and I love the learning curve I’m on,’’ Whitehead says.
‘‘ Liam came in as a fully- fledged junkie three years ago, and just when you think he’s finally got into the Summer Bay lifestyle, he just goes off track.
‘‘ His addiction is his underlying drive to heal himself.
‘‘ With drugs, with women. He never quite fits into Summer Bay, and he desperately wants to.’’
The frantic workload of Home And Away has allowed Whitehead to hone his craft as a working actor.
He also takes regular classes outside work to continue his progress.
‘‘ I came to acting late, so I have catching up to do,’’ he says.
‘‘ I realised on my first stint here that I actually loved this acting thing.’’
Music has taken a backseat, but he says he’s ‘‘ slowly writing the next record’’ when he has time to devote to it.
He’ll always have a bit of the bad boy about him, right down to his other passion outside work – his Ducati road bike.
‘‘ I rode dirt bikes as a kid. Me and my brother always wanted to have a rally team together and do the Dakar Rally,’’ he says.
‘‘ A mate of mine got me into riding on the road about five years ago.
‘‘ That’s my escape. Day rides or weekends away on the bike are my idea of absolute heaven.’’