Halfway through chatting with Home And Away newcomer Ethan Browne, a question leaves him stumped.
TV WEEK has been catching up with the actor on set about his exciting arrival in Summer Bay. Audiences have seen his character, Tane Parata, briefly over the past few weeks. Now, he's about how to come crashing into town – in more ways than one.
When asked how similar he is to his alter ego, Ethan takes a moment to reflect. Then, the answer rolls off his tongue, catching even him by surprise.
"You know what? We're actually very similar! I'm quite cheeky like him, but more responsible," he says with a wide smile. "We're both family-orientated guys, though, and enjoy the company of our siblings."
Growing up in a small town on the east coast of New Zealand, the actor honed his craft alongside his brother and four sisters. At the time, he was simply playing in the backyard, but it became a first step towards acting professionally.
"My siblings and I used to make little short films, whether it was something we saw on TV or pretend fight scenes, and I'd always loved it," he recalls of his childhood. "We're all best mates. We have our bad times, of course, but we love to have a laugh and hang out."
Life, however, got in the way of his childhood dreams and Ethan chose to embark on a different path after finishing high school. He studied civil engineering and made the move to Brisbane. Yet, something niggled at the back of his mind. The "unattainable dream" could be a reality, if he wanted it to be.
"I didn't pursue acting for a long time, but it stuck in my head," he says. "I needed to just take a chance and do it. I decided to take some acting classes which led me to NIDA."
His change of course not only brought him to NIDA in Sydney, but to the Channel Seven studios where he auditioned for the role of Tane. He soon got the job and graduated shortly after.
WATCH BELOW: Chris Hemsworth looks back at his Home and Away days. Post continues after video...
The first taste of fame came when Ethan started filming on Palm Beach in Sydney's north.
"When I first stepped onto the beach, the tour buses came past and didn't know who I was, but I saw how they reacted to the other cast members," he says. "But after filming for a few months, people started calling out to me and asking for photos. It's a nice feeling, but it's hard to get used to.
"The other day a guy was wearing a 'Blood And Sand' [the tattoo sported by the River Boys in Home And Away] shirt, who instantly knew who I was. There are some big fans out there."
While it's hard not to compare the men in the Parata family – played by Ethan, Rob Kipa-Williams and Kawakawa Fox-Reo – to the famous Braxton brothers, Ethan is just thankful to have his countrymen beside him to navigate new territory.
"I'm grateful I'm coming in with the other guys; we feel like family," he says. "There's a natural bond. Culturally, we all come from the same upbringing and we understand each other's humour too.
"We try to keep our character authentic and make it real for viewers back in New Zealand, because they're watching their [Maori] culture on screen – especially the humour. We have our own brand of it, so we try to bring that into the script."
Being a hunky character, it's par for the course to get his shirt off now and then. Ethan says he found shirtless scenes easy to film – despite the attention he receives from female fans.
"It makes sense when I'm on the beach," he says. "If I can justify why I have my shirt off, it's fine," he says.
"My partner and I have been together for 10 years and we've talked about it quite a bit. She's fine with it [the female attention] and we know nothing will change, so it's good.
"At the end of the day, I'll just be me; that's all I can do."