Nathan, 21, is the youngest of the Rafter children. He’s smooth, charming, good-looking but is more a creature of logic and process than of feeling and intuition.
Despite his flaws, he’s Julie’s favourite and the one she’s prepared to forgive more than the others.
From an early age, Nathan knew what he wanted – lots of money and a big house far from the suburbia in which he grew up.
He’s not exactly ashamed of his parents. He loves them, but he just doesn’t want to end up like them.
That’s why, after striking a deal with them to go halves in a scholarship to a private school and scoring well in his high school certificate, he didn’t even consider the option of higher education.
It was on with the sharp suits and cufflinks and straight into real estate. Nathan left home, moved to the inner city and geared himself to the hilt to create a façade that would sell him to the world.
“Nathan Rafter is like the black sheep of the family,” Angus says about his character. “He’s very ambitious and has, to a degree, alienated himself from the family through his desire to achieve more.”
Nathan was flying high after a great sale the night he first saw his wife-to-be Sammy Westaway. It was her looks and evident sophistication that first attracted him.
And finding out that Sammy’s father was wealthy property developer Anthony Westaway did nothing to dampen his ardour. The chance of fast-tracked advancement in the property business seemed like it might become a very real bonus to his relationship with Sammy.
So it’s unfortunate that his wife sees her marriage as a way to escape the control of her father and insists that Nathan turns down any offers of help. Mr Westaway angrily estimates that neither Sammy nor Nathan will survive without his subsidy, a prediction which eventuates after only six months into their marriage.
The couple find themselves in serious debt as they live on credit cards to maintain their lifestyle. Sammy has indeed found it hard to curb her spending on dinners and clothes, yet refuses help from her father.
Stifling initial rebellion, Nathan bites the bullet and embraces the concept of taking a temporary step backwards to enable a leap forward.He and Sammy approach Dave and Julie and ask if they might live for a short while at the Rafter house.
A proud Nathan cannot bring himself to tell his parent’s the truth about their desperate financial situation. So he tells them it’s merely a plan for them to save money when, in fact, they need every penny to pay off their sizable debt.
Lying to the Rafters doesn’t sit well with Sammy but Nathan is happy to do anything to save face.
It’s bad enough having to move home and share a space with his abrasive sister Rachel and having his brother Ben next door remind him about how the “loser” shoe is on the other foot.
“Nathan faces a lot of challenges early on,” Angus says. “Bankruptcy; debt; and having to come home with his tail between his legs. With his ego, moving back home is probably the worst thing that could have ever happened to him. Returning to where he started is hard, as it was something he wanted so desperately to get away from.”
Nathan’s salvation comes ultimately through the unquestioning love of his wife. For when the chips are down, Sammy proves she’s more than just a princess from a privileged background.
Watch Angus McLaren talks about the moment he took a ‘poo’ on set and why he’ll never live it down here