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Living The Dream

Charlie McDermott: 'Ben the Best Mate'

Charlie McDermott was talent-spotted for his role as Ben by Living the Dream director Katie Wolfe, who saw him in a play and asked him to audition. Apart from one commercial it's the first television role for the 21-year-old, who graduated from the Unitec School of Performing Arts at the end of last year.

"I loved the concept from the start. My gut reaction is that people are going to go insane over this."

Charlie says he and his character Ben are chalk and cheese in many ways. "Ben's a sheep, and I'm definitely not! I'd much prefer to be an individual and stand out than be one of the herd," he says.

"My hair is full-on spiky and mohawky, but his is pretty ordinary. I'm quite a loud person, so it was a huge learning process for me to play a quiet, subtle character. And I'm much more energetic than Ben. I had to take away all my hand gestures, because I use my hands a lot."

Charlie loves to try anything creative - he sings, plays guitar, and writes poetry - and admits to being a bit of a techno-head who's "always mucking around with my computer".

At high school in Wellington he was in a "ska rock" band called "NFC" which made it to the regional finals of the RockQuest, and he'd love to start another band in Auckland & when he finds the time.