DANIEL Collopy has truly arrived.
The 23-year-old Melbourne lad is
the spunky new addition to Prime's long-running and long-popular teen soap
Home and Away.
But it wasn't on a Summer Bay
beach when Collopy realised what national television exposure can do.
It was while waiting in line at McDonald's.
'I was just waiting there when a
girl from behind the grill screamed out "He's from Home and Away!",' Collopy
'It was a little surreal.'
Surreal is right, given the fact that even the most ardent Home and Away fan
has barely had time to get to know Collopy's new character Josh West.
Viewers had all but a glimpse of Josh at the end of last season when the
affable bloke arrived in Summer Bay
to wind down after the HSC.
Now, just a couple of weeks into the new series, Collopy is already a quickly
identifiable figure among teenage girls.
Despite being a little overwhelmed with the luxurious new trailers Channel
Seven has provided the Home and Away cast and crew for 2002, Collopy isn't
exactly a stranger to the limelight.
Confident and well spoken, he cut his acting teeth during a three-month stint
with Channel Ten's Neighbours playing Sean Edwards.
But it was as a 19-year-old that
he experienced some of his best moments before an audience.
Collopy was the on-ground announcer and played a character called Danny Boy
for the Melbourne Storm NRL team's home games.
'I got to play theatrically in front of a crowd 45,000 people,' he recalls.
'It ended up being huge, people would stream in two hours early so they
wouldn't miss the entertainment.
'It was awesome and I have to say I really miss it, you get a bit emotionally
But having scored the role of Josh, Collopy is definitely looking forward,
Josh is training as a lifeguard and, as is the Home and Away tradition, a
love interest is just around the corner in the shape of Tammin Sursok's Dani.
Having made a lightning quick move to Sydney from Melbourne last year after
winning his new job, Collopy says he's still adjusting to his new surrounds but
his fellow cast members are making him feel welcome.
'Home and Away has been running for 15 years now and when I came in and saw
characters like Fisher, Sally and Alf I had this feeling of real family because
they've been together for so long.
'I suppose I
feel like a bit of a third cousin but everyone has been really
'Desperate' to one day make the break into cinema, Collopy is also keen on
becoming a commercial airline pilot and his positive attitude suggests that it's
more a matter of 'when' than 'how'.
From a family
of 10, Collopy credits his mum as the reason he now finds himself staring a
successful acting career in the face.
'I wasn't sure about the audition but mum said, "just do it, give it a go,
fly the nest",' he says.
'I did and I love it here.'
Home and Away, 7pm weekdays, Prime