Prolific Australian actor Stephen Peacocke makes his US TV debut in “Five Bedrooms,” now streaming on Peacock.
“It’s really nice to know that our show has found an audience in America. I’m really chuffed,” Peacocke, 38, tells The Post. “And a story like this that’s not the typical tourism postcard that you sometimes get in Australia films.
“I think that’s great.”
“Five Bedrooms,” which originally aired on Network 10 in Australia, follows five people in their 30s and 40s — some of whom barely know each other — who agree to buy a house as an investment after sharing their woes about dating and apartment hunting while seated at the “singles table” of a mutual friend’s wedding.
There’s Ainsley (Katie Robertson), a real estate agent in love with her “office husband” Lachlan (Hugh Sheridan); Harry (Roy Joseph), a closeted gay surgeon who still lives with his traditional-minded Indian mother; Liz (Kat Stewart), a high-powered attorney coming off a divorce; Heather (Doris Younane) a mom whose marriage is on the rocks; and construction worker Ben (Peacocke) the affable jokester of the group who’s hiding some secrets.
“I think there’s something nice about Ben’s naivety and innocence,” says Peacocke. “He’s someone that genuinely sees the best in people, which is a nice trait to have these days. He’s a funny character, but at the same time he can capture a person’s bulls–t and see what’s really going on. He’s brave enough to tell people what he really thinks — but he can do it in a disarming enough way that people listen to him and like him.
“For years in Australia, I was playing a character who was likable, but he was getting what he wanted with his fists,” he says, referring to his award-winning stint as Darryl Braxton on the long-running Australian soap “Home and Away.”
“So it’s nice to play someone like this.”
That series launched the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger. Aside from “Home and Away,” Peacocke has also been in the Australian shows “All Saints” and “Wanted.” On the big screen, he’s had roles in “Hercules” with Dwayne Johnson, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” with Tina Fey and Margot Robbie and “Me Before You” with Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin.
His showbiz career, however, had an unconventional start. Before going into acting, he spent a year in his youth as a “jackaroo.”
“We’ve got different names for things in Australia [and] I was essentially a [cattle] wrangler,” he says. “When I graduated from school, I moved out in the desert. In America, it would be the equivalent of living out in Texas or Arizona. It was about an eight-hour drive to any major city, and it was a huge place that was so flat and open you could see the curvature of the earth.
“[There] you meet people that take their jobs very seriously but don’t take themselves seriously, and I think that was the biggest lesson I learned that I’ve been able to take into acting … an industry where there are always stories about people who maybe take themselves a bit too seriously,” he says. “It gave me a good grounding and keeps you humble — which is a good thing for anyone, regardless of what you do.”
And, Peacocke says, the fact that his surname matches his new network in America has turned into a running joke with his cast members.
“I was instantly calling my agent to see if there was any way I could get some sort of royalty out of it, despite the fact that it’s a different spelling of the name,” he says. “I thought it was very funny. I’ve been telling everyone that it’s my family connection that’s got us on the TV in America — so they all owe me!”
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