Reference > Erinsborough News > A Stark Reminder!
Neighbours star Todd didn’t think he’d be recognised at the cricket, but the crowd gave him a stark reminder!
What happens when you rise from complete obscurity to become a familiar face in a popular TV soap?
“People yell at you at the cricket,” says 23-year-old Todd MacDonald, who plays former jailbird Darren Stark in Network Ten’s Neighbours. “They weren’t being aggressive, but they kept yelling out my character’s name. It was full-on. It was one of the worst nights of my life.”
Since leaving the National Institute of Dramatic Art two years ago, the determined young actor has been on a learning curve. “When I finished university I got a bit of a shock,” Todd says. “There was nothing driving me and I had to drive myself. I had to keep up my voice and singing classes. I couldn’t just sit back and wait for the phone to ring.”
Todd worked behind a bar before winning his first role in an Australia-made U.S. telemovie, Sahara, playing a young British soldier who gets shot. He has successfully auditioned for the title role in a touring production of Romeo and Juliet when he got the offer to join Neighbours. Waving Romeo and Juliet a reluctant farewell, he signed with the soap until May 1997.
“Then we’ll renegotiate the contract,” he says. “I guess they’ll work out whether Darren goes back to jail or stays.”
Neighbours gave Todd his first taste of notoriety. “For the first month that you are on-air, no-one really knows who you are. Then suddenly you’re in the public eye. You start looking at people differently, start avoiding them. Sometimes it’s difficult on public transport, which is a shame because that’s when I like to study people.”
“Then again, sometimes it’s very warming to be recognised. I don’t consider myself a celebrity or a star. But the mere fact that I have the privilege of giving people a thrill gives me a thrill.”
This article originally appeared in TV Week magazine dated 4th January 1997 and was written by Adam Zwar