EXCLUSIVE: Why Playing for Keeps’ axing was a blessing in disguise for George Pullar

“In some ways there’s something kind of nice about it…”
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Earlier this year, Playing for Keeps fans received the news they’d been dreading: after two seasons and a year off air, the Network Ten drama had officially been cancelled.

But for its star George Pullar, who played AFL player Daniel Fletcher, the axe falling didn’t exactly cause him to shed a tear.

WATCH: George Pullar stars in Coyote

“Well, the truth was I wasn’t going to do another season regardless of whether it went ahead or not,” the actor tells WHO.

“I don’t know if I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but I had another job that would have been a scheduling conflict to go with it. So it was unfortunate for the fans that it didn’t go ahead but it worked out in my favour and it’s just part of the business.”

George Pullar
George Pullar is flying high in a new role in US series Coyote. (Credit: Supplied)

George adds that despite Playing For Keeps’ premature end, he sees the bright side and is able to look back fondly on his work on the series.

“I’m really proud and happy with the two seasons we got out of that,” he says. “In some ways there’s something kind of nice about it finishing early and leaving people wanting more of a show. It’s never good to do too much and dwindle out – so you take the good with the bad.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, George has fortunately been keeping busy in his acting career, and is currently appearing in his first big US show, Coyote, which is streaming now on Paramount +.

Playing for Keeps
Playing for Keeps was officially axed in early 2021 after last airing in 2019. (Credit: Network Ten)

In the series, George plays a border patrol agent who guards the US/Mexico border and the actor reveals that in order to lock down the gig he resorted to undertaking the most bizarre audition of his life.

“I was filming a movie at Coober Pedy and I was staying in a hotel that was built underground because it was so hot,” George says.

Hollywood producers and directors had seen his audition tapes and wanted to meet – but George couldn’t fly out to Los Angeles because of his filming commitments and he had to be on set by 5.30am on the day they scheduled a virtual audition.

“I was doing my audition through Skype at 4.30 in the morning in an underground hotel. And it was just one of those absurd things where I thought this is either going to go disastrously wrong or it could work in my favour.”

The 25-year-old Aussie plays border patrol agent Garrett Cox. (Credit: Paramount +)

Luckily for George however, it worked out. He scored the gig and wasted no time in sharing the good news with his number one fan.

“I think the first person I rang to tell was my mum. I feel like my mum is really the only one who’s keeping any sort of tabs on my job because she’s my mum you know? She just cares so much and she’s supported me so much through all of this and I love being able to call her and give her good news,” he says.

“She was absolutely pumped! I think the overwhelming thing with people who support you is just relief because they know how hard you work, they know how competitive it is. There’s so much risk associated with it.”

George Pullar mum
George admits the first person he called to share the news of his Coyote role was his mum, revealing: “She was absolutely pumped!” (Credit: Instagram)

The achievement of scoring a plum acting gig, particularly in a period of insecurity thanks to Covid-19, is clearly a feat not taken for granted by George.

“Obviously the lows [of being an actor] are low but the highs are very high. When you land a big gig, it is life-changing. It’s not a job that works in an incremental fashion,” he says.

“You’re like a yo-yo. You’re at the bottom of the ground with no work then suddenly you feel like you’re on top of a cloud, flying to some cool country to work with really great, creative people and your life changes very quickly in this career so the highs can be very euphoric.”

Coyote is now streaming on Paramount + Australia. Sign up here

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