Star Search: Three Awesome Aussies Compete For a Role on Days of Our Lives
All three come from Down Under but only one will rise to the top…of the Salem hunk list! NBC’s Days of Our Lives is casting the role of Fynn, a handsome doctor who hails from Australia and will hit the air this fall. But execs aren’t looking for an American actor to fake it. They want a real Aussie. To make that happen, Days partnered with Foxtel’s Arena Channel (which airs the soap in Australia) to launch an online talent hunt that narrowed 300 contenders down to three. The finalists were brought to the NBC Studios in Burbank for a screen test with Days leading lady Arianne Zucker (Nicole). The winner won’t be announced for a few more days yet but, in the meantime, here’s your chance to meet the guys.
He already knows his way around a soap. Bruszt has appeared on the long-running Australian serial Home and Away, which counts Ryan Kwanten, Chris Hemsworth, Isla Fisher, Guy Pearce, Julian McMahon, Simon Baker, Naomi Watts, and the late Heath Ledger among its many famous alumni. “It’s the biggest soap in my country and everyone is dying to get on it because, if you do, there’s a good chance the American TV and movie business will steal you away,” says Bruszt. He calls his Days audition, “a lot less nerve-wracking than I thought it would be because Ari Zucker was so amazing, bringing a lot of energy to our scene and really keeping me in the moment. I just sort of lost myself. When the screen test was over, I was, like, ‘What happened? What did I just do?’ It was like an out-of-body experience!” Waiting to find out who gets picked isn’t so bad. “I couldn’t sleep before my audition but now it’s done and I’m breathing easy,” Bruszt says. “If Days is part of my destiny, I welcome it. But no matter what happens, this has been the most fantastic experience.”
He had one chance to make good. In fact, that’s all any of them had. “The three of us were warned by [Days casting director] Marnie Saitta that we’d each get a single take on our screen test and, even if we fluffed our lines, or worse, there wouldn’t be a second chance,” says Dalzell. “And she was serious! We’re pretty laid back in Australia but that was pressure.” Best known back home for the sexy rom-com series Wonderland, Dalzell was already in Los Angeles when he learned he was a finalist. “”I was getting the lay of the land, taking some meetings and seeing how I felt about possibly relocating,” he says. “I fell in love with the town!” Usually he keeps his auditions on the QT because, “if I tell people I’m up for a role, then I just have to go around telling them that I didn’t get it and that just adds to the pain.” No such luck here. “This talent search is a very big deal in Australia, where Days has been a huge hit for decades,” Dalzell notes. “It’s strange to be in such a high-profile contest. Everyone knows our business!”
He’s been back and forth to the States several times for our TV pilot season, with not much success to speak of. But the man is persistent! Steel, another veteran of Home and Away, says his Days test was “a real honor because the show is a cornerstone of Australian TV. To step onto the soundstage and be treated so well by everyone was amazing. They even gave me my own dressing room. In Australian TV, I usually have to change clothes in a van.” Steel has developed quite the cult following for the Aussie web series The Justice Lease, a superhero comedy he created with some of his pals. He plays Batman, who is found living in suburban Sydney with roommates Superman, the Hulk, and Aquaman. “Much of the show is based around their household disputes, like whose turn it is to do the ironing and the washing,” says Steel. “Superman is usually slaving over a hot stove all day and bitching because the rest of us are late to dinner.” The series recently won several top honors at LA Webfest, with Steel taking home a best actor prize. “Hey, not too many people win an award for playing Batman,” he notes with a laugh. “Let’s see Christian Bale top that!”