Mcleod's Daughters: articles

Dustin Clare

Daughters aids Dustin's dream

McLEOD'S Daughters' newest recruit Dustin Clare may have the open and optimistic nature of a country boy done good, but he plays his cards close to his chest.

In just seven months on the TV drama, he has been dogged by rumours of a romance with co-star Michala Banas.

"I have been asked that question in five states," he deadpans.

"No. We are just friends."

He also issues a firm "no comment" when asked about the time he rescued a man from drowning in Bali.

"It happened but I don't really want to go into it," he says. "I don't want it to be out there, something happened and it's what you do. Full stop."

But the Ballina beach lover does not hold back when describing how lucky he feels to be in one of Australia's few remaining dramas.

"It gives me a great sense of joy to build a character and the research is a really interesting period of time," he said.

"I went to a farm outside of Geelong and . . . looked at how they worked the land and how they sounded."

Clare was a trainee lab assistant on the NSW North Coast until he moved to Western Australia a few years back to study at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

To fund his studies, he waited tables, cleaned windows, taught and even poured gold.

"I used to pour a bar worth $100,000," he said.

"We try to hand jobs down in WAAPA, so when you are in third year you try to give it to a first year. It was just a job someone got and handed it down over the years."

Graduating in 2004, he went on to win parts on All Saints and Headland.

He said moving was part of the job.

"You do become a travelling gypsy and I find it really nice to get back to Ballina, because that's the place I have a real connection with," he says. "But I really enjoy being able to travel with this."

Clare said he felt sorry for actors graduating this year because there were few roles for them to cut their teeth on.

"It is disheartening, but also inspiring because you figure it can only go one way, and hopefully that is up," he said.

"And I think my generation is the one that'll bring change.

"Everyone is over reality TV and networks just need to take a couple more risks."

Clare said he dreamed of an international film career.

"I am extremely goal-oriented but will focus on working at this role and putting all my energy into it," Clare said. "What I can't get used to though is how cold it is in the morning. It hurts my soul."

By Roxanne Millar
August 29, 2006