Cheat­ing hearts

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

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

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.’’

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