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The Leading Man

Dan Ewing

Former Home and Away star DAN EWING is gearing up for multiple upcoming big-screen appearances and it all starts this month with the release of the new alien invasion Aussie action film Occupation…

Hey mate, what’s been doing since you finished up on Home and Away? You are done on Summer Bay, right?
Well my character Heath is not dead, so you never say never, but I’ve had a very exciting last 12 months — I have four films in post-production and a couple of pilots I’ve shot, too. I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities – so, stay tuned.

How would you best describe your Aussie action flick Occupation?
People have seen $200 million movies made overseas and there’s just something that gets lost in the mix of all the special effects and the budget. Occupation is an intergalactic invasion film, yes, however it’s from a small-town perspective. They are a small, dying town so there’s no astrophysics or the American President flying a fighter plane. This is Aussies trying to help other Aussies in a small town – so, it’s unique.

What attracted you to the film?
The uniqueness of the script. I’ve seen alien invasion and war films and great Aussie classics, like Chopper and The Castle, but this type of film hasn’t been done before.

You play an ex-footy player and gained weight for this role. How was that?
Well, quite simply, I stayed comfortable but I didn’t pig out anymore than I normally would. Naturally, I’m not a small dude, but it was quite refreshing to be able to just stay the way I was and being able to eat lots of rice and pasta – all the things you can’t really eat when you must do a shirt off, running-out-of-the-water-with -a-surfboard scene.

We hear your Kiwi co-star, Temuera Morrison, did the Haka on set?
Temuera is the consummate entertainer – he either has his guitar out or he’s doing the Haka. It’s a beautiful part of the Maori culture. We had extras out till 3am and Temuera wasn’t hiding in the warm trailer drinking tea like the rest of us, he was out there performing the Haka and entertaining the masses. He is a beautiful man and I can’t wait to work with him again.

What do you love about your job?
Pretty much everything. Every day is dynamic, organic and raw. I get to work with such incredible, passionate, creative people. Plus, getting incredible feedback from fans who have been touched by my performances is the most gratifying thing ever – it’s why I do my job.

Is there anything you hate about it?
Politics and actors who think they are above the project – I can’t stand it. Almost every project you get there’s always an actor who thinks it’s a little bit too big for their boots and it’s all about the publicity. Quite often we forget how lucky we are as actors – we are here to tell a great and compelling story that affects people.

You’re suited up for this MAXIM fashion shoot – what do you look for in a suit?
I love a suit that is fitted and tailored to a thick-legged man – it’s a genetic thing. A suit that is tampered in at the ankles and doesn’t look boxy so it’s not like something out of my high school formal, which was baggy suit pants.

Do you consider yourself a bit of a fashionista?
I don’t really follow fashion trends much. However, I’m a basic T-shirt-with-a-great-leather-jacket guy. My leather jacket collection is pretty extensive – it’s my thing.

Do you have a favourite designer?
Oh, man, this is going to sound very cliché but I love it when you see the David Beckham’s or Tom Hardy’s of the world in an Armani suit. You know, in one of those edgy shoots? I know it sounds really arty but I love seeing high-end, really good quality garments in edgy, urban situations where you wouldn’t normally see people dressed like that.

What’s the most embarrassing outfit you’ve ever worn?
I don’t really care about looking bad that it’s almost embarrassing. Look, it’s not very embarrassing but when everyone else is rugged up and I’m wearing boardies on the beach whilst shooting Home and Away – the sun is coming up and I’ve got the boardies on in the middle of winter to get that cinematic shot.

What’s the dumbest rumour you’ve read about yourself?
It’s got to be the Dan Ewing is gay rumour that did the rounds a few years ago. It was more so when I first became more prominent in the public eye. I had been seen on Sydney’s Oxford Street and I guess lots of gossip media hang out there. I was quite taken aback by it because it was sad to me. I have been so supportive of the equality vote and happiness is what I call the equality vote – everyone deserves to be happy. So, I found it a little disheartening. To all my gay, lesbian and transgender brothers and sisters, I have so much love for you all.

What have you learnt about women over the years?
Women are fantastic beasts! What I mean by that is, I am so glad in this day and age women are celebrated, opinionated, they’re directing films – and I know there’s inequalities there, but women encourage us to be savage and just to have an opinion and to be respected. We are all human beings, we are all equal and anyone who says any different is a fool.

What’s something men will never understand about women?
I know this is a cheeky way to interoperate the question, but childbirth! I know after seeing my beautiful little boy being born, I just don’t think there is any bigger pain you can feel as a man – we’d be chauvinistic fools to think anything less. So, to all the women out there – I love you and we certainly couldn’t do it!

What’s one thing to always have with you in an alien attack?
Temuera Morrison! Just have Tem on your side. He is a beautiful human being and he will fight aliens – what else do you need?!

Tell us about the other films you have coming out this year.
Chasing Comets, starring alongside Isabel Lucas, Kat Risteska, DJ Havana Brown… I don’t want to give away too much but young aspiring footy players have a lot of questions about morality and their tested. Lots of temptations shall we say. Another is Beast No More which is a psychological thriller, starring opposite Jessica Tovey, and is a story about two parents dealing with their grief. The third one is called 1 and is about the last man on earth. It’s basically like Bear Grylls but not Bear Grylls – instead it’s about a young Australian man who hasn’t made the best choices in life and becomes the last person on earth for reasons I can’t give away.

Other than these, what else is next for you?
Well, Occupation 2 – the sequel is happening which is very exciting. To be given a sequel just off the back of the buzz from overseas markets, the buyers and the distributors is very rare for Australian films. So, I’m getting into shape for that but I’m more excited for you all to see the first one, so please check it out. ■



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