On the bumpy road to Hollywood
At 15 he was importing scooters from China and marketing them. Ayear later winning drama awards and starring in canoe polo tournaments for Havelock North High School, then setting up his own dance party business at 17.
The acting bug was the one that “took” however, and now Cameron Jones is to star in a new role . . . but he’s tight-lipped about a lead part he has landed alongside aHollywood star.
Cameron Jones became a household name for his role as heart-throb ambulance officer, Dallas Adams, in the longrunning New Zealand drama Shortland Street.
He is bound by showbiz confidentiality and can’t reveal any details of the new role except to say he gets to wear cowboy boots, the hat and speak in a southern accent. He’s currently living in Los Angeles, but shooting in America’s rural heartland.
“Funny how I left Hawke’s Bay to go half way around the world to pursue this dream and ended up back in a rural area.”
He said his success still doesn’t feel real.
“I’m just having the best time of my life right now and I feel like it’s only going to get better from here.”
After Havelock North High School he studied a Bachelor of Arts in Acting at Toi Whakaari, spending a semester at Stella Adler Academy of Drama in Hollywood before graduating in 2012.
Already, he has racked up several big-time roles, including starring in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, television series Passion in Paradise and Nancy Wake— A Love Story.
But it was where he was in his career now that was the most challenging, both professionally and personally, he said.
The actor has had to keep his spirits high after his father died in November. This was coupled with a year and a half of audition denials.
“It’s been nothing but hard work and persistence. I don’t know if I believe in luck,” he says.
Cameron had to get an actor’s visa when he went to America, which meant he was not allowed to work in any other workforce.
If he did, it would be viewed as taking a potential job from an American citizen.
With a string of audition setbacks, he’d had to dip into his savings for his day-to-day basics.
His mother, Sue Pitts, who lives in Havelock North, is fizzing about her son’s success, saying her son’s year had been tough.
Sue visited him in May and he took her to many of his favourite locations. She had returned home when he learned he had landed the role.
“When he called he was so happy he cried. I amso proud of him. This is his big break, I believe.”
Sue says her son has worked hard to hone his skills, including learning to play the guitar and riding horses to help him on the job front. Cameron says it still doesn’t feel real. “Each time I walk on set and work with such incredible talent.”
BACK WHEN: Cameron Jones in his Havelock North High School days, when he set up a business— Dungeon Enterprises— organising school dance parties at the Angus Inn events room in Hastings in 2008.
LEADING MAN: Former Havelock North actor Cameron Jones is making his mark on Hollywood.