Hot Mitch exposes Shire life
Mitch Dean fell into his role in Channel 10’s dramality series writes
WHY just have drama or reality when you can have the best of both – dramality? That’s what Channel 10 is offering viewers with its new series The Shire. A look inside the lives of the ‘‘hot surfers, vivacious models, girls next door, on-and-off-again couples, loveable rogues and entrepreneurs’’ of Sydney’s Sutherland Shire.
Comparisons have already been made to overseas reality shows Jersey Shore and The Only Way is Essex but The Shire is aiming to present a unique look at the 20-something residents of this seaside paradise.
One of them is 23-year-old stonemason Mitch Dean. Dubbed ‘‘The Hottie’’ (a title that makes him chuckle), he’s an affable, average guy who loves to surf but is nursing a bruised heart after a break-up with his long-time love Gabby, who just happens to be one of his Shire co-stars. Were you born and raised in the Sutherland shire, Mitch?
I grew up pretty much all my life in the Shire and I’ve got no complaints. It was a perfect upbringing; you couldn’t ask for anything better. Right now I live in Miranda, about two suburbs back from Cronulla. How did you become part of this show?
I saw a website that mentioned auditions for The Shire and I thought it sounded like fun but I never really had the nerve to audition for something like that. But a friend of mine called me and said he really wanted to, and he asked if I’d come along to help him out. So I went along but he was running late so I ended up talking to the producer for 15 minutes, just having a chat, and she said to me, ‘‘Look, Mitch, your friend’s running late, we’ve got a little time, would you mind if I auditioned you?’’. So they put me on tape and the ball started rolling from there. My friend didn’t get a spot so he’s a bit filthy on me now. What did that audition process involve?
There was a questionnaire where they asked you about yourself, your background, the craziest thing you’d ever done, stuff like that, and then they asked you those questions while taping you to see how you might come across on television. From there, I was asked questions about my life and my love life. It was a long process but I got the call I was in. And what is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Oh, just the usual: bungy jumping in South Africa, skydiving, swimming with sharks, you know, the usual. So tell us about the shooting process for Are you followed and filmed around the clock?
At the start they said, ‘‘You just go live your life, go about your average day’’. Like a lot of people, I thought it would be a Jersey Shore- type of thing where we’d all be Mitch Dean says he just hung out with his mates. in the same house but the producers said they weren’t going down that road. They wanted us to just do our thing and they’d follow us with cameras. So if I wanted to meet up with my mates or take a girl out for dinner, I’d let the show know and they’d come along and film it as naturally as possible. One of your co-stars is your ex-girlfriend Gabby. How’s that working out for the both of you?
That was the longest and most serious relationship I’d been in, and we weren’t talking around the time of my audition – we’d been broken up for about six months. A lot of my life at that time was about Gabby – I couldn’t live my life or do my job without thinking about her, and so her name came up a lot when I was talking to the producers. I guess they had to put a face to the name because they couldn’t have me talking about this girl without the viewers having some idea who she was. They asked me if she’d be interested in being on the show and I said she wouldn’t, she’s a bit of a shy girl. But she did a few little things to begin with and ended up just loving it. Were you shown any episodes prior to the premiere?
I’ve seen the teaser but I haven’t seen any episodes. From what I’ve seen I think it’s going to be really, really good. Me and my friends, we love to surf, we love beach culture, so that’s our little story, but there are all sorts of characters and situations people can relate to – work stuff, friendships, relationships. It’s the real-life drama of everyday life. So does it feel like your life is about to change in a big way?
Seriously, the whole thing doesn’t feel real at all. The last few months when we’ve been filming, it hasn’t been that much different from the rest of my life. You do your thing, you hang out with your mates – it’s all a bit of fun. It’s only just now starting to sink in. I’m looking forward to the ride.
Mondays and Thursdays, 8pm, Ten, Ten SC.