The past few years for Dan Ewing have been action-packed to say the least. From starring in the hit sci-fi blockbuster Occupation: Rainfall to placing fourth on the gruelling military-style reality show SAS Australia, it seems there's not much the 36-year-old can't do.
While in the Victorian bush filming a top-secret movie inspired by a famous Australian murder, Dan chatted to TV WEEK about the special bond he shares with his son Archie, his love for Home and Away and how he feels about his portrayal on SAS.
While Dan walked away from his role as river boy Heath Braxton on Home and Away in 2013, he still has nothing but praise for the soap that helped launch his career.
"I f—king love Home and Away!" he says warmly, adding that he doesn't understand why some past H&A actors seem ashamed of their time on the soap.
"People try to leave Home and Away in their wake but I celebrate it. I think it's funny when people don't want to talk about it! It was an incredible experience. I love everyone on there.
"What they do and what they achieve on there is profound considering the time they have [to create an episode]."
Dan also revealed how his cameo on Summer Bay earlier this year came to be, saying the reprisal was sparked by a dream executive producer Lucy Addario had about him.
"She had a weird little epiphany about me," he laughs.
"They called me and I happened to be in Sydney and drove 20 mins from my place and then went and had a fight in the Home and Away car park, caught up with a few mates. It was lovely."
Dan couldn't speak higher of his time on the soap, saying the cast and crew were "a real family" to each other.
"They shoot all year round and have each other's backs," he says.
When asked the age-old question of whether he'd ever reprise Heath Braxton fulltime, Dan revealed it's a "never say never" situation.
"I'm a stickler for storylines, it's not about ratings for me. Obviously I'm doing stuff now that takes a lot of time. Would I turn my nose up at it [returning to H&A] because I see it as lower down the rung? No," he says.
"I think what they're doing now is just fantastic. The trained eye will see they've updated all their cameras and put a lot of money into production value."
And it's not just filming projects keeping Dan busy, he's also a devoted father to his seven-year-old son Archie.
Dan visibly lit up when talking about Archie, who he hadn't seen for four months due to Queensland's strict border closures to New South Wales and Victoria, where he's currently filming.
"I Facetime him every day, so we surprised him one day when we were Facetiming. I crept up on him at dinner while we were talking. He was very, very surprised. He dropped the phone," Dan says of their tearful reunion near the NSW/Queensland border in Tweed Heads.
"It felt like it was 20 seconds, but I think we were hugging for about five minutes. I was a blubbering mess."
Dan says it's been incredibly tough being apart from little boy, but admitted a lot of Aussie families are in the same boat.
"The positive is that he's been in Queensland and lives a great life up there. As much as I'd want him down here in Victoria, he would be locked up [due to COVID]," he says.
"But when you start missing Father's Day and birthdays it gets tough."
Dan also shed light on his SAS Australia journey and the flak he copped for his use of meditation and mindfulness while completing the course.
"The reaction has been huge but people start to read between the lines. We have to remember we're 18 characters on a TV show, but they've got to paint us in a certain light," he says.
"They're painting characters at the end of the day."
But Dan maintains taking part on the show was one of the best things he's ever done in his life, saying he was "living my dream" to be competing among Australia's top Olympians.
"They had this different mindset and that's why they're pro athletes. That for me was exciting to see," he gushes.
As for what's next, Dan will be taking part in Oz Comic Con at Sydney Showground on December 4 and 5, where he will be joined by a line-up of Aussie actors including Richard Roxburgh, Remy Hii and Danielle Cormack.
"Its huge! It's like a massive celebration of pop culture, and an opportunity for fans to see me and other actors," he says.
Dan's currently in country Victoria filming a movie centred around a real-life murder that took place in Australia, though he remains tight-lipped on which historic event its based on.
"It is inspired by a true story in Australian history, about quite a famous murder. It's one of those tough subject matters, I don't get to put on tights for this one," he laughs.
"Being inspired by true events, there's a reverence and a gravity and a weight to it. And because it's loosely based on quite a few people, I have that extra pressure."