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Packed to the Rafters is the first television role for George Houvardas, who describes himself as a “late bloomer” in the acting department.
“Acting has always been something I wanted to do, ever since I was a kid,” says the 27-year-old.
But it was a dream he didn’t pursue until his early 20s. “After I finished school, I began a building diploma at TAFE,” he recalls. “I thought if the acting bug is still there when I turn 21, I’ll pursue it.”
It was then he enrolled in a one-year course at The Actors College of Theatre and Television. This was followed by another 12-month intensive course at Screenwise, one of Australia’s leading film and TV schools for actors.
George auditioned for Rafters straight of college. “It was my very first audition and I got the part,” he says gratefully. “I’m the least experienced of the cast, so I feel extremely privileged and lucky to be working with such an amazing and talented group of people.”
While thrilled to be working, George is even happier to be part of such a quality Australian production. “This show deals with every day life in a realistic way,” he says. “It paints a very real picture of family life and will appeal to a wide demographic.”
Like his on-screen character, George is also of Greek heritage. The middle son of three boys, he grew up idolising screen legends like Marlon Brando and Anthony Quinn.
Like Carbo, he’s yet to move out of home. In his spare time he helps out his parents, who run two restaurants and a function centre in Sydney. “We’re all natural entertainers,” George says of his family. “There are no actors in the family but Dad often plays MC at weddings and the rest of us are all pretty outgoing. We’re not a shy family that’s for sure!”
George is also a mad soccer fan and enjoys swimming, running and hanging out with his mates.
During his recent production break, he filmed a guest role on the acclaimed SBS series East West 101alongside Susie Porter.