FORMER Neighbours star Ben Lawson knows all about the disappointment of watching a successful show disappear down the gurgler. Cast in a recurring role as Krysten Ritter’s love interest on sitcom Don’tTrustTheB----inApartment23, he joined the show at the peak of its critical acclaim and high ratings in 2012.
“The reason everyone in Hollywood is looking over their shoulder all the time is you just never know when you’re going to be out of a job,” he says. “It was a hit and it had a big fan base. Everyone was confident, everyone went to work happy and then slowly over only a couple of months everyone started to feel like: ‘This is it’ – and sure enough it was.” The series was cancelled last year. Lawson and brother Josh ( TheLittleDeath) have called LA home for six years now.
“We came out within three to four months of each other for that ill-fated 2008 pilot season when the whole industry was on strike (the writers’ strike),” he says.
“It’s good having Josh here, we’re close and relocating to another country is never easy … I’ve been grateful for it.”
Despite the strike Lawson quickly booked a couple of pilots and picked up a starring role in legal drama TheDeepEnd. He’s also had a recurring role on action drama Covert Affairs and appeared on Bones, TheLeague, TheExes, 2BrokeGirls and JenniferFalls.
“Initially I didn’t even think about coming back,” he says. “Even though it’s always in peaks and troughs the times when I’ve thought ‘oh f--- this, I’m going home’ have probably come later on when the novelty and shine wears off a bit more.”
Lawson also fired off audition tapes back to Australia and had a run of local shows this year including SecretsandLies, Rake and LoveChild. And he’s just filmed a guest role in the multiple Emmy-award winning sitcom ModernFamily, as part of a perfect couple Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) hopes to sell his neighbours’ house to.
Lawson says there’s no better place to be than on a series that’s rating well and winning awards. “Credit to the cast, as far as I saw there weren’t any egomaniacs … everyone was so sweet and welcoming,” he says. “As a guest character you don’t always feel that but certainly on ModernFamily, it may be the happiest set I’ve ever been on.”
SUNDAY, 7.30PM, TEN