Darren McMullen is living his very own seachange. The irony is not lost on the Scottish-born star, who plays Findlay Knox on the reboot of the popular ’90s series which captured the life-changing notion of giving up a fast-paced life in the big smoke for a home by the sea.
The 37-year-old returned to Australia this year after his relationship with long-time partner, Teen Wolf star Crystal Reed, came to a heartbreaking end.
Having lived in Los Angeles for the past few years, the former host of The Voice says he was “fed up with the lying, cheating and stealing” in Hollywood. “Before I got the Seachange role, I was coming out of a six-year relationship,” he tells WHO. “I was lost and then this came about and I was in this magical place with these magical people.”
McMullen spent three months in the northern NSW townof Brunswick Heads which served as the filming location for the fictional town of Pearl Bay. And he says his time in that “magical” part of the world, healed his heart after Reed.
“[After my break-up] it was a difficult time, but everything happens for a reason and I try not to focus on the negative,” he explains. “It was a wonderfultime we shared together, and I wouldn’t give any of it back. We had phenomenal times and I’ll never forget that. We remain incredibly close. I’ve been lucky in my life to maintain friendships with everyone I’ve been in relationships with. I’m thankful for that.”
Now single, McMullen says filming Seachange not only helped him recover from his break-up, it renewed his love for acting and showbiz.
“Being in America for such a long time and seeing the way the industry was operating, I really didn’t want to be in my industry,” he says. “It really put me off wanting to continue what I was doing. But coming back here and seeing the way it operates … and reconnecting with old work colleagues, it made me realise it can have integrity and it can be a nice work environment for everybody. It reinvigorated my love for the entertainment industry. Seachange absolutely reinvigorated my love for acting again and I’m really focusing on my career now.”
New episode of @9seachange at 8.40pm tonight on @channel9 Findlay finally gets to wear a shirt 😱(scroll👉). #Seachange #Drama #shirtlessandshameless
The star – who moved to Australia from Scotland with his family at age 10 – says he didn’t want to “play their horrible little game” in Hollywood anymore.
“I think you do have to sell your soul a bit,” he confesses. “People just lying and cheating and being slimy. It’s rife over there. It’s an industry geared up for people to leech off the talent, whether they’re musicians, actors or hosts. You have agents taking your money, managers, publicists, lawyers taking money and that’s before the tax man has even got it.”
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Holly RichardsHolly Richards is a freelance contributor to WHO and New Idea. With more than a decade of experience in the entertainment world she lives and breathes everything from the latest Bachelor gossip to who designed Meghan Markle's most recent outfit. Check out her reality TV podcast Real Talk With Holly & Ali.