Home and Away

EXCLUSIVE: Rick Donald spills on his new role on Home and Away and his love for Georgie Parker

Rick Donald grew up watching Georgie Parker and now he's playing her half-brother.

By Helen Vnuk
As a 13-year-old boy living in Townsville, Rick Donald would be glued to the TV every week when All Saints came on.
He was fixated on Georgie Parker, who played Terri Sullivan, and the attraction between her and Mitch Stevens.
"I was obsessed," Rick tells TV WEEK. "My mum and I used to watch All Saints and I used to watch her.
Her romance with Erik Thomson was burnt into my brain.
She was the nun and he was the hot doctor and they never got together.
I remember turning to Mum one day and saying, 'Why don't they just get together?' I was so invested in that storyline."
Two decades down the track, Rick has co-starred with Erik in 800 Words and will soon be seen co-starring with Georgie in Home And Away.
"When I got on 800 Words and I met Erik, I said, 'Man, you guys killed me on that show,' and when I came on to Home And Away recently with Georgie I said the same thing."
Rick as goofy Woody with Erik Thomson in 800 Words. Supplied
Rick, 35, is working closely with Georgie on Home And Away, playing her character Roo's half-brother, Kieran Baldivis.
Kieran is Martha's (Belinda Giblin) son, but until recently, neither her husband Alf (Ray Meagher) nor her daughter Roo knew he existed.
Rick says he was keen to take on the role of Kieran because he has "a lot of layers".
But also, he liked the idea of working with Georgie – as well as Ray.
"The idea of going head to head with him was really exciting," he says. "He's an absolute legend."
This isn't Rick's first visit to Summer Bay.
Early in his acting career, he had a small role as Dean O'Mara, the farmer who raped Bianca (Lisa Gormley). He got to meet Georgie briefly back then.
"Our characters didn't cross paths, but just because Georgie is the way she is, such a big personality, even if you don't have a storyline with her, she'll find a way to find you and make you laugh and give you a hug."
Rick's a long-time fan of Georgie Parker. Channel Seven
If Rick needed any more encouragement to take on the role of Kieran, he got it from his wife, Catherine Mack.
Catherine starred on Home And Away herself, playing school counsellor Natalie Davison and earning a TV WEEK Logie nomination in 2013.
"She loved her experience and was excited for me to be jumping onto the ship," he says.
Rick and Catherine got married in California in 2016.
Both of them had spent time living in the US, with Rick scoring a role in the sitcom Friends With Better Lives, alongside James Van Der Beek, before deciding to return to Australia.
Since then he's been in high demand.
While Woody in 800 Words was a very likeable character, more recently, he's tended to play unlikeable characters, such as prison officer Sean Brody in Wentworth.
Rick says it makes "no difference" to him whether he plays one or the other, even though he sometimes gets strong reactions from viewers.
Rick is playing Roo's half brother Kieran on the show. Channel Seven
"If I'm going to be an unlikeable character, I want you to hate me with everything," he says.
"When you get someone screaming at you because they want you to die, or they hate you so much they just want you to leave, I think you're doing your job."
When he's not playing unlikeable characters that make people scream, Rick lives on Sydney's northern beaches with Catherine and their young daughter.

He says the months he spent at home due to COVID felt like a "forced holiday", because they live in such a beautiful location.
"During all this we've been really lucky to have the ocean right at our doorstep, so I haven't felt like the walls have been caving in on us, like some people have struggled with."
Rick has discovered another advantage of living on the northern beaches – being close to Palm Beach, where Home And Away is filmed.
"I get to walk out from home to work. It's amazing!"

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