Stephen Peacocke reflects on life after playing Brax

And why he'd return to Australia in a heartbeat.
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In his new hometown of Los Angeles, we caught up with former Home And Away star Stephen Peacocke for an exclusive chat about his character Brax’s early days.

“I had a blissful naivety about it all,” Stephen, 36, says of the fame that was about to come his way.

The first days on set were a special time for Stephen. He was living out his dream job and working by the sea in Palm Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

His character still hadn’t appeared on screen, so Stephen was yet to be recognised by Summer Bay fans.

“I remember a producer telling me that everything would change when I went to air. And I thought, ‘Yeah, whatever.’”

The producer was right. When Stephen started on the show with fellow River Boys Dan Ewing as Heath Braxton, and Lincoln Younes as Casey Braxton, he was a hit with fans.

“When we went to air, I was really nervous and didn’t love it at the beginning,” he admits.

“But the audience took to the River Boys, and the three Braxtons. We became known fairly quickly with the fans, so it was strange for me.”

“I think people liked Brax,” he says. “So I always get a fairly warm reception – if anyone notices me at all.”

Stephen played Brax from 2011 to 2016. In that time, he earnt three TV WEEK Gold Logie Award nominations, as well as five other Logie Award nominations – and 50 TV WEEK covers.

In 2012, he took the gong for Most Popular New Male Talent, and had wins in 2013 and 2015 for Most Popular Actor.

As the shoot in Los Angeles starts to wrap up, Stephen talks about the moment he decided to say goodbye to Brax – and leave his homeland for the next chapter in the US.

We miss Brax!

“There was probably the possibility to stick around [on the show],” he says of contract negotiations before he left.

“But I kind of felt the audience had enjoyed that ride with Brax. It felt natural to think, ‘I’ll go and have a crack at something else.’”

Even today, the actor has nothing but praise for his time in Summer Bay and the experience it gave him.

“I loved the work and the people,” he enthuses. “I genuinely liked it. It was such a great job.”

And although Home And Away’s fan base is strong and would have wanted him to continue, Stephen knew it was time to wipe off the tattoos and give Hollywood a try.

Luckily for the Aussie, it didn’t take long for him to land jobs.

Stephen quickly scored roles in two feature films – Whiskey Tango Foxtrot with the hilarious Tina Fey, and Me Before You with Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke.

“I was lucky – had I not been able to grab a few jobs straight off the bat, maybe it would have been more difficult to say goodbye,” he says.

And while he’s had a few jobs in LA, Stephen says he and Bridgette are living a quiet life. They’re waiting for that “Thor moment” to hit.

“Sometimes you can get lucky and get something really good straight away,” he says. “Other times, you might have to wait a while for something good to come around. “You have to be brave enough to wait for the right thing and then go hell for leather when it does.”

When asked if he still considers working back home, the actor is quick to say he’d be on the first flight home for the right role.

“Of course I’d come back,” he responds. “I would love nothing more than to be in an awesome Australian film or television show. I reckon people love Australian stories. We’re still a unique country in the way we view the world. I think there are plenty of good stories to be told here – so I would definitely be keen on that.”

For the full story, pick up this week’s issue of TV WEEK.

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