Indigenous first for soapie

Meyne Wyatt is thrilled to join the cast of Neighbours but says it's been a long time coming.

The 24-year-old, who hails from Kalgoorlie, is the first indigenous actor to land a starring role on Network Ten's soap in its 29-year history.

"It's probably bittersweet," he said.

"It's cool that I've been able to get this opportunity. At the same time, it's a thing that's been a long time coming."

Neighbours producer Jason Herbison said the decision to cast Wyatt wasn't driven by his indigenous background.

And at Wyatt's first audition, Herbison said they knew they had found the perfect person to play Nate Kinski.

Wyatt said the fact Nate wasn't an indigenous-specific part was a plus.

"One of my main mantras for my career has always been that I don't just always want to play indigenous roles," he said

"I just want to be seen as an actor rather than an indigenous actor.

"I want to do roles that interest me or challenge me, that aren't just going to pigeonhole (or) typecast me as just being the indigenous guy."

Since graduating from NIDA, Wyatt has pursued and won parts in everything from Peter Pan at Belvoir St Theatre to Bell Shakespeare's production of French comedy The School for Wives.

In 2013, he was in the big-screen adaptation of Tim Winton's The Turning and a few months ago finished filming on Strangerland with Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Guy Pearce.

At this year's TV Week Logie awards, he was also nominated for the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding Newcomer for his part in ABC TV series Redfern Now.

Wyatt has been filming on Neighbours for 2 1/2 months, and will make his debut on August 13.

The West Australian

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