He played tattooed heartthrob Heath Braxton on Home And Away alongside fellow River Boy Stephen Peacocke, aka Brax. But when Dan Ewing made the decision to hang up his surfboard and leave the sandy shores of Summer Bay in 2014, he was also glad to say farewell to his bad-boy reputation.
Since then, Dan has been busy being dad to three-year-old son Archie and working on several feature films, including Chasing Comets, Occupation and 1. He's also landed himself a new girlfriend in actress and dancer Katrina Risteska.
At 32, Dan says he now has a new lease on life. "Post-30, I'm sort of led by gratitude now," Dan explains. Adorable Archie currently lives with ex-wife Marni Little, 34, on the NSW Central Coast. Despite the distance, Dan, who is based in Sydney, says he relishes the time he gets to spend with his "little man".
"My little boy is priority one, two and three for me," he says. "It's that simple."
He adds that the pair love nothing more than playing outside together.
"Archie is such an active boy," he says. "When he was first born, we were living in LA and didn't know anyone, so we spent a lot of time inside watching TV. So now I'm a pest about being active outside."
As our interview continues, Dan can't stop enthusing over his new lady love: Katrina, 25. The pair have been dating since 2016 after bumping into each other on the set of Home And Away.
An aspiring actress herself, Dan says he and Kat bond over similar interests and hobbies.
"It's nice to be dating someone who is kind of like a mate," Dan adds. "We get along like a house on fire – and she doesn't put up with any rubbish from anybody."
While fans may be missing seeing Dan on the small screen, it could soon be another thing of the past.
"To be honest, I haven't had time to scratch myself," the actor says of his busy schedule, as he reveals he's been working on several upcoming films.
"If you'd have told me I'd have four films in the can before August, I'd have told you that you were lying. I'm feeling very grateful for the opportunities from the filmmakers who wanted me on their projects."
But the question we really want to ask is whether we can expect to see Heath back in the Bay anytime soon?
"I would definitely consider it – as long as there's a good storyline," Dan says, adding he will always cherish his time on the long-running Aussie soap. "I love what they do."
So does the River Boy still keep in touch with his former co-stars?
"I do cross paths with Nic Westaway [Kyle Braxton] though – and, obviously, Lisa Gormley [Bianca Scott]," Dan says. "We talk often because she played my better half.
"But Steve [Peacocke] doesn't have Facebook. When we're in the same country, it's easy – but he's so old-school, you have to send a messenger pigeon after him!"
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