TV Week: “Torn Between Two Selinas!” Home and Away 13th July 1996

TV Week
13th July 1996

Summer Bay’s new boy Ben Unwin was in a no-lose situation when he found himself…

Torn Between Two Selinas!

YOUR first screen kiss is meant to be exciting and fun, not fraught with danger. But for Home And Away newcomer Ben Unwin the kiss could have put him out of action for weeks.

Little did Ben know that while filming the first throes of teenage passion for Home And Away characters Jesse and Selina, actress Tempany Deckert was days away from being diagnosed with glandular fever.

But luckily, not only for Ben but the show’s producers as well, Ben confidently revealed that he’d already had the debilitating illness. While Tempany was recuperating, the role of Selina was re-cast and Ben had a new leading lady, Louise Crawford.

For a red-blooded 18-year-old it’s not a bad situation to be in. “I had a new girl to kiss,” he says. “I’ve had glandular fever before so I’ve got the antibodies to it.

“Tempany is wicked, I really like her. I really like Louise as well. It was hard to expect Louise to hop straight in and play Tempany’s role, but they’re both good actresses and I worked well with them.” While this may be Ben’s first ongoing TV role, he’s no stranger to the cameras.

He played Rebecca Smart’s adolescent boyfriend in a series of the ABC’s Eggshells, and later appeared in G.P., music videos and a short film for Sydney’s Tropicana Film Festival.

Ben made his first Home And Away appearance last year — a 50-word guest role. He’s got the chiselled looks and mega- watt smile that advertisers and consumers love. Ben’s national ad credits include those for soft drinks, cereal, a fast food chain and pharmaceutical companies.

As lucrative as television can be, acting is secondary to Ben’s real passion, music, and his desire to “go where the wind blows”.

A classically trained musician, singer and composer, who is also into such alternative rock groups as Pearl Jam and the Smashing Pumpkins, Ben is part of a four-piece group called Ethedon.

“I have a passion for acting, and music is my first love,” he says. “I started off doing some studio stuff with dance music when that was big. Then I wanted to go in a different direction so I got some mates from school who played instruments and we formed a group, not a band, a group.

“As for the writing, I think it comes to you unconsciously I don’t sit down and say today I’m going to write a song about sex, today I’m going to write a song about love, about TV WEEK.

“It comes when I hear one of my friends play a really good guitar riff … it takes me and I go with it and I write the songs.

“I’ve always got a pen and paper with me for when some- thing hits me in the streets.” His character, Jesse Fletcher, is creative in his own way, finding a bed on the beach, and tinkering with cars that may or may not be legally his.

He’s already fallen foul of the law in Summer Bay, but that hasn’t stopped Selina being blinded by love for him.

Expect the normal run of trials and tribulations to befall them, but Jesse and Selina are going to be one of the Bay’s more stable relationships, although there is a major shock in store.

“Jesse? Okay, he’s a deviant, he’s a modern day Robin Hood, he’s a charmer who loves women as much as you can love women in a 7pm timeslot,” Ben says.

“He’s also a bit of a joker who likes to play with situations and see what he can do with them, but in a good way.

“He’s not out to hurt anyone. When he’s by himself he’s solemn and sincere, and Selina gets to see that.

“Life’s a show for Jesse, but he’s comfortable enough with Selina to let her see the side of him that is sincere.”

Story: Di Stanley
Picture: James Calvert-Jones

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