Actor and musician J.R. Reyne talks about his role in Channel 7’s new drama The Secret Daughter

Channel 7 brought the goods last Tuesday night, as their Melbourne Docklands studio hosted a late afternoon of food and entertainment. With delicious goods provided by My Kitchen Rules 2016 winners Tasia and Gracia, live music was provided by current X Factor: The Next Generation contestants, brother and sister talent the Brentwood Duo and Timmy Knowles.

While there, we got to sit down with performer on the night, The Secret Daughter actor and musician J.R. Reyne, who talked about his love for both music and acting, life as a new parent and travelling around the world.

Reyne plays Dan, Billie’s (played by Jessica Mauboy) on and off again boyfriend. Talking about what he admires in Dan, he explains his character on the show is “a bit of a larrikin”, but still thinks he is genuinely a good guy. “At his core, he is an extremely loving, caring, sweet person…I just think he is maybe not sure of himself.”

Reyne hinted that as The Secret Daughter progresses, viewers will get to see a different side of Dan, “We’ll see him recognise that he actually does love Billie, and how talented she really is.”

As the son of Australian Crawl lead singer James Reyne, J.R. has a strong musical background as a singer-songwriter. Reyne explains the prominent musical aspect of The Secret Daughter was one of the main reasons he decided to join the cast, after hearing of the show late 2015. “When I saw the script and synopsis I just went ‘Crap, this is just a dream role… I found out about the cast and since it was a story with Jess, it was sort of a no-brainer and I really wanted to be a part of it.”

Although an active musician, his past acting credits include a stint on Neighbours from 2002-2004, and explains that acting was a strong interest early on, “I always enjoying playing different characters, and I always loved music. It was just a natural progression.”

“It was just something that I always loved; I always loved performing, and when I found out that you could attempt to make money from it, and have some sort of livelihood from it. I went ‘Wow, let’s do it!'”

Earlier this year, Reyne became a father to son Roosevelt. He believes fatherhood made him realise he could never love anything more in the world, and that it was like “a new sense”.

As a self-proclaimed “gypsy”, Reyne has spent much time overseas for his music and although has a passion for not staying in one place at a time, the Melbourne local believes fatherhood has allowed him to find a “base” back in Australia. “We still love to travel, and I travel a lot for work and what not, and that won’t ever stop, but I definitely love having a base back in Australia.”

Aside from on-screen acting, Reyne has a strong involvement with theatre work, including a lead role in the upcoming Paul Kelly musical Deeper Water. He believes the relation between music and theatre is “both very similar, and very separate”, (and goes on to explain he knows how silly that sounds), but his passions for both allow him to blend the two.

“I just love being able to perform on stage or in front of a camera, because it’s the one time where I feel completely in the now. And that’s what I enjoy – being present. Nothing beats that.”

The Secret Daughter airs Mondays at 8.40pm on Channel 7

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