TV Week: “Rebel with a cause” Heartbreak High January 28th 1995

TV Week
January 28th 1995

NIDA graduate Vince becomes the new troublemaker at Hartley High.

Heartbreak High heartthrob Alex Dimitriades may be down and out for the count, but there’s a new trouble-hungry rebel headed for the schoolyard.

Vince Poletto, a 22-year-old National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) graduate who is making his first foray into television, plays Matt Logan, the troublesome surfing rebel who comes to Harley High for his last chance at a high school education.

But book-bashing is probably the least of this character’s concerns. With a family secret just waiting to pop out and ruin his rebellious facade. Matt instantly stakes claim on his new turf and involves himself in a love triangle with grieving Jody (Abi Tucker) and her older sister, played by cast newcomer Joy Smithers.

“He’s a surfing guy from the country,” Vince says. “He’s had bad dealings with cops before and been kicked out of a lot of schools. This is his last chance to finish HSC. If he screws up, he’ll probably be blackballed. He believes in freedom of the spirit, which encompasses that surging love.”

After filming chilly surf-side scenes at Bondi beach, Vince’s enthusiasm hasn’t been dampened, despite spending two days either in the water or next to it.

“I’m learning so much more on the job,” Vince says. “I’m working with directors and actors who have a very raw and real quality about them. It is great. It is so real.”

Vince, who was encouraged to audition by NIDA classmate Aaron Jeffery (who will be seen in the new Seven Network action-drama series, Fire), has embraced the opportunity to create a character from scratch and the chance to master the medium of television.

“The stuff we did (at NIDA) was good and very helpful, but it wasn’t enough about film to prepare me,” he says. “I got here and I was in no-mans land … I had no idea.”

“But Vince adjusted quickly to the new challenges.

“This show just starts to evolve from each scene,” he says of creating the character. “To start with, I was tense because I was always thinking about how I would feel. Now I’m developing a way that Matt is affected by things, how he would feel about things.”

With Dimitriades’ character, Nick Poulos being killed off at the end of the last season, there’s an opening for a new love interest and Vince could fit the bill.

“I think it is not about taking over,” he says. “Matt is just the new dude on the block.”

Scott Major, who plays Rivers, agrees Vince has created a unique character.

“There is always going to be speculation about someone being the new Alex Dimitriades, but character-wise it’s not like that,” he says.

“The only similarity is that he has an interest in the character of Jody Cooper.”

Story: Shane Sutton
Picture: Tony Merrick

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