All Saints: profiles

Ben Tari…

Ben does not bring any formal medical qualifications with him to All Saints but for a healthy young man he does have a surprising amount of experience as a patient and has managed to get three rides in an ambulance.

As a child, he broke his wrist when he came off his pushbike as the result of a run-in with a car, broke a collar bone when he fell over during a 100-metre sprint, and in his late teens he was injured in a car accident.

Ben is fit and well now and hopes the only hospital visits he makes will be for location shoots for All Saints.

Ben was born in Budapest. When he was eight his parents decided they wanted a safer, more settled environment for the family and fled the country.

Looking back now it sounds very dramatic, although Ben says as a child it just seemed like an adventure.

"The only English word I knew was 'thankyou' so I could say that to the stewardess on the aeroplane on the way to Australia."

The language barrier made starting school in a new country tough, but he soon caught on.

Ben says while he did do some drama classes at school in Melbourne, he was not interested in school plays. He was a keen sportsman playing competition tennis and swimming.

When he enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne's Latrobe University he was not heading in any particular direction.

"I decided to major in Drama, Cinema and English and then I fell in love with Drama," he says.

He graduated with majors in Drama and English and by then had been accepted into NIDA.

After graduating in 1996, his first two roles were 'interesting' &#150' "I played a character called Chook on Home and Away and another guy poured milk over my head," he says. "And then I had role in Big Sky in which I bared my butt running into the surf."

Since then he has also done an episode of Water Rats and co-starred with Tammy McIntosh in a short film.

Ben was impressed when he first read the All Saints script.

"Jared is a good character," he says. "He is the over-enthusiastic, slightly naive new nurse on the ward. He is a nice guy but he has grown up being very spoilt.

"Now, he is starting to enjoy the simple things in life and appreciate the genuine natures of the people he is working with at All Saints."

…as Jared Levine

Tall, dark, handsome and, to start with, at odds with himself and the world, Jared hails from a Jewish family of high achievers who enjoy a lavish lifestyle.

He was a fish out of water when he arrived at All Saints. It was his first job since graduating.

Jared's mother wanted him to be a doctor—'my son the nurse' does not sound half as good. But Jared didn't get the marks to study medicine. He argued that if he studied nursing it might get him halfway there and that he could then qualify as a doctor by studying at his own pace part-time. That's what he has told his parents. But deep down he felt that becoming a doctor was beyond him, and in the course of his first year at All Saints he has committed to a nursing career.

Still, there have been struggles with his mother and his possessive, ambitious and now former fiancee Amanda.

The most important person in his life is his grandmother. When he was little and his mother and father were out working and socialising, he came home to his grandmother and the housekeeper. His grandmother taught him compassion and generosity in a household otherwise devoid of those qualities. She is the one who instilled in him a desire to be a helper, to be truly useful in society rather than to sit back and receive.

Jared's journey of self-discovery has taken him from the conflicts of his home and being a permanent outsider to a greater sense of belonging in a place at the opposite end of the social world—both geographically and culturally.

Jared has helpers along the way—Connor to break down the barriers of his reserve and Terri to be an unfailing friend when he is most in need.