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Last Man Standing

Matt Passmore

(plays Cameron Kennedy)

When Matt Passmore first read the script for Last Man Standing, what immediately struck him was the way the three lead male characters interacted.  "It had been a long time since I'd seen blokes interacting like that on TV," says the actor.  "Having spent time in the army, that sense of mateship is a big part of my life and it's great to see that being realised in this show.

"Cameron's mates are incredibly important to him, even if he does sometimes use them to get women," he laughs.  "But that reliance on your mates, the need to bounce things off them is something I think most people can relate to."

But while Passmore can understand Cameron's sense of mateship, that's pretty much where the similarities end between the actor - who's been happily married to wife Jacqui for seven years - and the womanising character he plays on screen. 

Cameron is the consummate ladies' man. "Cameron loves women," says Passmore. "He's constantly looking for the woman who knocks him off his feet. A few years ago he thought he'd found that with Zoe...he thought he'd never have to look elsewhere again.

"But despite the fact he loved Zoe and he loved being married to her, he simply couldn't help himself when another piece of skirt walked by."

Despite Cameron's break-up with Zoe, Passmore points out that Cameron still has a special bond with his ex-wife. "Zoe was the only person who he could really talk to, more so than his mates.  He still has feelings for her but he knows it's over between them.

"He was devastated by the break-up with Zoe and he's sworn to never do that again.  He's very open and honest about the relationships he has now.  And he's pretty much given up on the ideal moral of one woman, one man...although he hasn't stopped looking altogether."

Passmore loves the challenge of working on Last Man Standing.  "The stories are so much fun and the atmosphere with the cast and crew is great.  There's a fantastic feeling between the four main actors, which means that we all have a bloody good time...and it also means that I don't regret getting up for work at 5.30am!"

Passmore discovered the passion of theatre as a teenager but was too scared to tell his mates who thought it boring.  A school excursion took them to see Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, which was featuring Blue Heelers' John Wood and a then relatively unknown Paul Bishop. Passmore was captivated as John's character Petruchio attempted to tame his headstrong wife, Katharina.  "Immediately it blew me away. It was magic. There it was, all happening right in front of me." But as they left the theatre, his mates bagged the Queensland Theatre Company production, so Passmore kept his elation to himself.

As fate would have it, 14 years later and fresh out of Sydney's National Institute of Dramatic Art, Passmore's first audition was for the very same play. He won the role of Petruchio - which had been played with aplomb years earlier by John. The irony was not lost on the drama graduate. And, in a way, justified the complex path he had taken to realising his teenage dream.

After passing his HSC in 1991, Passmore didn't know what to study and instead enlisted in the army in 1992 for five years. The boy who'd never been out of Brisbane decided it would be a good way to see Australia. Regimented life certainly turned the boy into a man. "There is a security with rules," he recalls, "and temptation with freedom."  A change of government brought new rules and Matt opted out in 1994.

Back in the real world, his biggest temptation was theatre. And he indulged. Passmore joined a local amateur production company and scored his first dramatic role. "I was the guy getting crucified alongside Jesus!" He spent the next three years honing his raw skills - performing on stage at night and welding in factories or cleaning by day.

During an amateur show of A Midsummer Night's Dream an agent saw Passmore's portrayal of Lysander, signed him up, and his professional career began. His first paid gig was as Jarod in Blackrock for La Boite Theatre. Untrained, Passmore yearned to learn more about his craft and enrolled in NIDA in 1999. 

A late starter, Passmore graduated from NIDA in 2001, aged 27. That first post-NIDA audition for The Taming of the Shrew saw him tour Australia with the Bell Shakespeare Company. The next year, he moved into TV, as semi-regular Pete Jones in the Seven Network drama Always Greener. In 2003, he played Susie Raynor's wheelchair-bound husband Brad in Blue Heelers alongside John Wood and Paul Bishop - the two actors who had so inspired him as a teenager.

In 2004, he appeared in The Cooks as Jake. For the past three years, he has co-hosted the children's ABC show Play School. Passmore has also appeared in several short films including; Release, Blackjacks, and Future Tense.