“I love the role, and I’ve made some great friends of co-stars like Jackson Gallagher, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, George Pullar, Annie Maynard, CeCe Peters and Isabella Giovinazzo. Madeleine West is full of energy and Olympia Valance never fails to put a smile on my face.”
But, by his own admission, Ethan’s rise to fame has been tumultuous: “My parents split when I was 3. I moved to Queensland with my mum, Dianne. But footy is in my DNA, so when the urge to play hit hard, I returned to WA as a teen and trained as an elite player. It was while recovering from a torn hamstring that I started thinking about acting.”
Ethan took an acting course, and that’s where he met John, the former Number 96 and Cop Shop star, who these days runs an international acting school. John’s ex-wife is his former co-star Paula Duncan.
“I was 23, I went for an audition which I thought I’d flunked. There was about 80 people in the room. John singled me out and said he’d be in touch, and that’s how I got my start. I remember my first acting job was for an ABC-TV docudrama called The War That Changed Us in 2014.”
When Ethan relocated to Sydney to further his acting career, he says money was so tight he spent a few nights sleeping rough in a park.
“I knew I had money coming in, so I didn’t panic, but a share house I was about to move into insisted I pay upfront. I didn’t have the money so I slept in my ute and in a picnic shelter.”
Through John, Ethan met Paula, who offered him a spare room.
“Paula is amazing. She may be a seven-time Logie winner with an astonishing showbiz career but she is so kind and grounded. Instantly, I felt part of the family. Mum and Dad both adore Paula and John, and are thrilled they’ve taken such wonderful care of me. Mum has always been my biggest fan, and urged me to follow my dreams.”
“When Paula and John are together, they’re like an old married couple. You’d never know they divorced years ago. I’ve been living at Paula’s on and off for the past three years, and they are some of the craziest times,” Ethan laughs.
“Life with Paula should be a reality show. There are people constantly coming and going, and there’s always a spare bed for someone in need.”
Paula says Ethan is a huge talent, and knows one day he’ll make it in Hollywood. “He really is like a son, he helps me clean out the cupboards, takes my dear old dog Rocky for walks and, being an electrician by trade, if a light bulb blows, he’s up the ladder and on to it,” says Paula.
“Ethan is a wonderfully intuitive actor, he’s spending a lot of time travelling between Sydney and LA. I feel certain he could become the next big Aussie thing to hit Tinseltown.”
Ethan says between acting gigs in Australia and trips to Hollywood for casting calls, he happily goes to work as a sparky.
“I’m proud to have a trade. I was never given a life on a silver platter. Both Mum and Dad instilled in me the notion that hard work and being disciplined was the way to go.”
For more, see this week’s New Idea – out now!