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Reference > Erinsborough News > A Feast For The Hungry Austrian

Kristian Schmid is set to take on a bigger role in the neighbourhood.

Neighbours’ fans might be disappointed at the exodus of stars from Ramsay Street, but one young cast member isn’t too upset.

Although he’ll miss his former colleagues, Kristian Schmid is set to move up the ranks and take on a more prominent role in the Network Ten series.

Kristian, 15, who plays Todd Landers, is into his third Neighbours year, making him on the show’s “veterans”. And with Kristian’s popularity increasing all the time, don’t be surprised if the Network Ten publicity machine starts working overtime on the young actor.

“I’m really pleased the character is starting to get better storylines and do a bit more,” Kristian says. “I was always stuck between the 18-year-olds and the 10-year-olds. The first year I was here I was always stuck in the background, not doing much at all. Todd was so small at the beginning, too, with a squeaky voice, but he’s grown up a bit now. He’s more of a teenager and this year’s storylines have him doing more teenage things than kids’ things.”

Kristian, whose father is Austrian and mother Hungarian – he calls himself a ‘hungry Austrian’ – says he hasn’t been too worried about maturing on screen and acting out situations close to the bone.

At age 14, Kristian faced his first screen romance and kissing scenes with actress Jade Amenta at a time when, he admits, he was hardly experienced with girls. Then, late last year, Kristian discovered he needed braces for his teeth. Not only did he face adjusting to his new looks off-screen, but he had to act out the trauma as Todd, too.

“I’m lucky they’re a clear set, not the steel things that make you look like Jaws. I have to wear them for 14 or 15 months,” he says. “I am used to them now and when I walk down the street I look at lots of people’s mouths, and heaps of people have got braces. If I have to do things on screen that might be uncomfortable… well, to me Neighbours is to entertain people and I’m being paid to do that, so I’ll do what they say. I suppose I don’t lead the normal life of a 15-year-old. I have to act like a mini-adult when I’m here because I have to be professional, but as soon as you get me outside…”

Kristian is continuing his studies this year, both on the set at Network Ten and at a Melbourne school, and says he’s “a very average C student. I’m not motivated enough and it would be a lot less hassle if I dropped out, but I can’t. Part of being in Neighbours is that I have to keep up school, and that’s the only thing that keeps me going.”

If Kristian ever decided to leave acting, he says he would probably work with his father, who designs and manufactures a range of men’s clother called Sailcloth. “It’s upmarket ‘yachty’ gear, conventional but with a twist. He started our factory about four years ago and it’s only starting to take off now,” Kristian says. “He works long hours, but at least he’s got some fashion sense.”

This article originally appeared in TV Week magazine, dated February 2nd 1990, and written by Chrissie Camp

Article submitted by Steve


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