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“I don’t take it for granted!” RFDS star Stephen Peacocke is grateful to be in demand

He calls acting “a bloody hard job," but the fan-favourite actor is glad to be where he is.
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Homegrown star Stephen Peacocke has been at the forefront of a new golden age of Aussie television. He’s been busy working on not one, but four shows.

Five Bedrooms, The Newsreader and RFDS all have new seasons in 2023, with new crime drama Human Error currently in production.

“It’s the dream for anyone, isn’t it – to be an actor who’s getting a bit of work?” he tells TV WEEK with a laugh. “It’s great. They’re all good, fun projects and you work with excellent people.”

The outback is the office for flight nurse Pete in RFDS.

(Image: Supplied)

The 41-year-old doesn’t take having several projects on the go as a given, knowing how tough the industry can be to not only break into, but remain in.

“I’ve never taken any job for granted,” he shares. “Everyone knows how hard it is to get work. It never gets old; I’ve never had a boring day.”

While grateful, Stephen admits some days are easier than others.

“It’s always a bloody hard job,” he adds. “In many ways it’s fun, because it’s what you love, but everything’s challenging and you’re very nervous before you do any of it.”

Stephen at the 2023 TV WEEK Logie Awards in July with his Five Bedrooms co-stars (from left) Katie Robertson, Kat Stewart.

(Image: Supplied)

Stephen says since he started out, the industry has undergone a huge change – for the better. Streaming services have meant more work and greater global exposure too.

“Streaming services mean that sometimes you do a show where (previously) it would only have been seen in Australia, but now it can be seen around the world,” he says.

RFDS, in which Stephen plays flight nurse Pete Emerson, first aired in 2021 and has found an international audience.

“I don’t take it for granted.”

(Image: Supplied)

Stephen, who grew up in Dubbo in country NSW, says that the outback town of Broken Hill, where the story is set, has benefited from an increase in tourism along with increased donations to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“Anything that brings people out here is worth it, because it’s such a cool town,” he says.

“I worked on a sheep station when I was an 18-year-old straight out of school, and it was very isolated, with huge, open country. I love that. So to think I could marry the two – acting with being in the bush with a bunch of good people doing really good stuff – is excellent.”

(Image: Supplied)

Despite his thriving career, Stephen never forgets his roots: playing River Boy Darryl ‘Brax’ Braxton in Home and Away a decade ago.

“Anytime you can play a character or do a job that finds a big audience and resonates with people, you should just be grateful. It was such a good, fun job,” he shares of his time on the soap.

“I feel lucky that audiences sort of stuck with me, and (that audience) became broader because I’m doing different stuff. I think acting is all about pleasing an audience. If you can find an audience and they like what you’re a part of, you count your blessings.”

Stephen believes his success has stemmed from his work ethic.

“I figured if you turn up with the right attitude – and it’s easy to because it’s a great job – and you put in the effort (which I always like to think I do) then, hopefully, stuff will lead from it.”

Stephen Peacocke on the upcoming episode of RFDS, where he battles with his self confidence after making one mistake that cost a patient their voice.

(Image: Supplied)

Stephen teases that he has some exciting projects in both film and television in the works.

“The good thing about being an actor these days is that it used to be that you did television because you wanted to get into film. Film is great – and I’d love the opportunity to do more, and there’s a bit of that maybe on the horizon – but television now is awesome.”

“It’s as good as it’s ever been, if not better, and the stuff most of us watch at the moment is good telly.”

RFDS airs Tuesday, 9.15pm on Channel Seven and 7 Plus.

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