Actor Focus: Tim Ross

Cinema Australia Original Content:

Tim Ross.

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Tim Ross is set to join a panel of industry professionals who will provide mentorship to regional filmmakers via a new Capricorn Film Festival initiative.

Proudly supported by Gladstone Regional Council, Meet your Mentors is an online initiative presented through Zoom, where Gladstone region residents will get to have one on one time with Australian film, tv, and arts industry professionals who will provide inspiration, direction and education.

The mentees will have dedicated one on one time for up to 30 minutes, where they can ask the questions needed to progress into the Australian film and tv industries.

Tim Ross is an Australian actor best known for having played Steve Beaumont in Wonderland. He has also appeared in the television series NeighboursHome and Away and the recent Netflix movie, Romance on the Menu. Tim will also appear in upcoming Netflix series, Dive Club.

To apply, complete the form available via the organisation’s website www.capricornfilmfestival.com

“I am a father of two boys, and they are my everything. My goals have not changed, but it is no longer merely about me.”

Interview by Joanne Kmaid

How did you get into acting?

As a child, I loved impersonating Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carrey and Billy Connolly. My joy was making people laugh. When I heard my school was offering drama, I figured I could continue entertaining whilst doing minimal schoolwork. [Smiles]. It was a win-win! I soon discovered it requires more effort than that.

I was cast as the lead character in a few plays; this is where the real passion began. My teacher singled me out and encouraged me to pursue a career in acting. Growing up in Adelaide, I never saw this as a promising career, but I decided to bite the bullet and do some work with a mentor who encouraged me to audition for drama school. One year after high school, I was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and moved to Melbourne at the age of 19 to give it a go.

Would you recommend acting as a prime career in Australia?

Absolutely not! [Laughs]. No, look, people ask me all the time, and to be brutally honest, it is tough, it is relentless. You need to have an indestructible passion for it and an abundance of patience. If you can deal with the lack of security and not knowing what is around the corner, then by all means chase your dream! I have a few mantras that keep me going – “Fortune favours the brave.” “Never, never, never give up.” “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

Neighbours, Home and Away, Wonderland… Is it precise to say your acting days have peaked?

Neighbours was my first ever gig on TV and I found myself starring opposite Margot Robbie; in a way I peaked early! [Laughs]. But Wonderland was my true training ground. I was thrown in the deep end and it is where I learnt the ropes. I made some lifelong friendships on that show and memories that will last forever. It was a uniquely special time in my life.

Tim Ross and Cindy Busby in Romance on the Menu.

Netflix film, Romance on the Menu, was recently picked up by the Hallmark Channel in the US under the new title, Hearts Down Under. Is the film title in reference to Australia?

Hallmark bought the rights to it and will air it on their channel. They have renamed it Hearts Down Under, and yes, this is in reference to Australia. It is exciting to have it receive this level of exposure!

I have always been a hopeless romantic. Some of my favourite movies include The Notebook and Titanic. Growing up, these films gave me inspiration as an aspiring young actor. Romance on the Menu was my first lead in a film – every now and then, a role comes along that you feel was made for you. I connected instantly with the role of Simon Cook. He loves the ocean, countryside, he is not a fan of the big city life, he loves the outdoors, fishing, dogs, and he is handy on the tools. I grew up in Adelaide working for my dad as a builder, so to be honest, I had it all there to draw upon. I felt at home in the role.

Every high comes with a concealed low. What are your thoughts?

I have been a carpenter, bartender, courier driver, warehouse worker, carer and an Uber driver. Working a job when your passion lies elsewhere is tough. With acting, it often comes down to whether or not you have a certain look, and there is no second prize. I always thought the hardest part of my journey would be the struggle before I attained a decent gig, but I was wrong… It was having it all for a few years, living ‘the dream,’ only to have it all taken away. Work completely dried up for a few years after having a lead role on TV. It happens all the time, but viewers only see what is offered to them on-screen.

After my wife fell pregnant, we decided to escape the harsh lifestyle Sydney was offering us and we re-located to the Gold Coast. Since then, we have celebrated a young family, and things are looking up again in a new and relaxed environment.

Sounds like family life is your dream in fruition…

I am a father of two boys, and they are my everything. My goals have not changed, but it is no longer merely about me. It is about providing for my family, so in many ways, I have more fuel inside me than ever before.

As tough as it can be not having the next gig at hand, there is an incredible benefit, and that is time spent with my family. There is nothing more valuable than time, love, my wife and my boys. It is a crucial chapter in our children’s lives to have their parents present. There is something special about watching a child with no filter, no guard; it is purity at its finest – that raw innocence and curiosity that fades with age. There are so many moments I just want to bottle up and keep forever!

On the flip side, things can change in an instant and I can be whisked away to work for lengthy periods. Hence, there can sometimes be a hefty price to pay, but it is worth it as I could not do a 9am-5pm job.

How do you survive in-between work?

When I am not acting, I am an avid portrait photographer and a passionate mentor for aspiring actors. With countless auditions under my belt, I have a great understanding of what makes a performance or audition stand out from the crowd. My mentoring focuses on screen technique, layering character and performance, confidence building, guidance and industry advice, and tips and tricks. I teach at the Warehouse Workshop Actors Studio and online.

When can viewers expect to see the new Channel 10 and Netflix series, Dive Club?

We have just finished filming Dive Club which will be released globally later this year. I play the role of John Martin, a reconstruction engineer and father. We shot this in tropical QLD Port Douglas, which was absolute paradise, but a little problematic during the wet season. We encountered constant schedule changes due to wild weather and a near miss from a cyclone at one point.

Dive Club is a teen mystery that follows a feisty group of teen divers, who race to find their best friend when she disappears after a storm hits their small coastal town.

It is wonderful to see a strong female-lead cast as well as a wealth of female writers and directors. Such positive energy!

Actors move from project to project. Have you been able to attain lasting friendships?

Such a great point! Many times, I have been in a production and imagined we would be lifelong friends, but rarely does that come to fruition. You naturally become close, really close. You have tight relationships and share a lot of yourself among the cast. You invade each other’s personal space. You are on the same team, you share the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the highs and lows. It is like a roller coaster. And then as quick as it commenced, and at the flick of a switch, we find ourselves moving onto different paths. It is a mutual, unspoken understanding.

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