Wyatt's star turn in Redfern Now

EMILIA VRANJES
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Wyatt�s star turn in Redfern Now

Meyne Wyatt relaxing at Sorrento ahead of a very busy schedule. Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

Redfern Now is widely revered as one of the most powerful television dramas ever produced in this country and looks set to propel the promising career of dynamic young WA actor Meyne Wyatt.

The dashing 24-year-old WAAPA and NIDA graduate - who appeared in box-office smash The Sapphires and recently received a glowing review in The New York Times for his lead role in Belvoir St Theatre company's off-Broadway production of Peter Pan - gives a compelling performance in tonight's episode of the ABC's award-winning series.

Sydney-based Wyatt, who was born and raised in Kalgoorlie and attended Hale School in Churchlands as a boarder, plays a young father whose life with his partner turns into a nightmare when their newborn baby goes missing.

"I was meant to be in one of the episodes of the first season but I was unavailable at the time because I had a scheduling conflict. So when the second season came around, I jumped to be a part of it because the first season had done so well and great stories were being told," he tells AAA from the family home in *Woodvale * on his first trip back to *Perth *in nine months.

"I wanted to take on the character as an acting exercise and because it was a pretty intense story."

The first Australian drama series written, directed and produced by indigenous Australians, Redfern Now - which explored a homosexual relationship in the much-talked- about season two opener - boasts a star- studded line-up, including WA's Ernie Dingo, The Sapphires' filmmaker Wayne Blair and Offspring's Deborah Mailman.

Wyatt, who was named best newcomer at the 2011 Sydney Theatre Awards, believes it is imperative for Aboriginal storytelling to transcend cultural boundaries.

"What this season has done is that it's not only fully indigenous relationships but also indigenous and non-indigenous relationships, so it's telling an Australian-wide story," he says. "People are seeing and understanding things they maybe had not seen or understood before."

Wyatt - who features alongside fellow hot property Alex Williams (Underground: The Julian Assange Story) in a Men of Style spread in this month's issue of InStyle magazine - will soon start rehearsals for a play showing at next year's Sydney Festival and is close to signing off on a number of undisclosed projects.

"Any time a role is a bit full-on or challenging, I always try to put those things on me because I want to see if I can go to the different levels and I don't want to be limited," he says.

When AAA asks if there is someone in the acting fraternity he is inspired by, the rising talent pauses, before giving a carefully considered answer.

"I'm not sure . . . there are actors around now and I admire their work, like Daniel Day-Lewis or Javier Bardem, but I never really looked up to anyone because it was always me wanting to be as good as them," he says.

"I have that competitiveness within me."

Redfern Now airs today at 8.30pm on ABC1.