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Alec Snow & George Mason’s sea change

The Summer Bay lads share their Kiwi connections

On a quiet beach in Auckland’s Castor Bay, the resident hunks of Home and Away are far from the golden sand and big surf of Summer Bay, but actors George Mason and Alec Snow couldn’t be happier to be visiting New Zealand on a whirlwind Trans-Tasman publicity trip.

In fact, during our exclusive photo shoot, as they splash around in the shallows of the Hauraki Gulf, looking out over Rangitoto Island, they’re arguing about who loves this country more – even despite the fact that Invercargill-raised George is a Kiwi bloke through and through.

It’s Queensland-born Alec’s second visit to Aotearoa. “I went to Queenstown six years ago, which was my first-ever trip overseas,” tells the 23-year-old, who plays Matt Page on the hit TV2 soap. “I haven’t been anywhere else in the world since then, but that set the bar up really high because it’s beautiful down there.

“I mean, Australia’s beautiful, but the countryside here is the coolest. Everything here seems untouched. I love the weather and there’s something about the nature that appeals to me. I just love it here.”

Play nice, boys! The co-stars reveal their characters will be having a lot more to do with each other soon.

However, despite Alec’s gushing, it’s Southland boy George, 25, who wins in the passion stakes. He flew into the City of Sails a few days earlier to introduce his lady love, Parisian model Manon Buchalet, to the city he called home while filming local series Go Girls, Shortland Street and The Blue Rose.

“She’s never been to the North Island and I haven’t been back to Auckland for years, so it was awesome to show my girlfriend around all my old hangouts,” smiles the actor, who plays Home and Away bad boy Martin Ashford. “Then we jumped into my best mate’s truck and we went camping for a couple of days in Tawharanui, where we went fishing and kayaking. I even surfed for a few hours.

“I live on Bondi Beach, so I can always surf there, but it’s hectic. Everything in Sydney is always so full-on. I miss how relaxed the vibe is in New Zealand, even in a big city like Auckland. I miss uncrowded places, the food … I miss everything about New Zealand.” The Home and Away cast only gets three weeks’ holiday a year and George spends much of that time in Invercargill. “I usually catch some waves, meet friends and just have mad family time.”

And he gets to drop the Aussie twang he’s put on for the soap. George laughs, “Originally, being a Kiwi, I got a lot of grief for my accent, but then we beat them in the rugby, so it was all good.”

Alec and his actress girlfriend Demi.

George had a great summer showing girlfriend Manon around his favourite Kiwi sights.

Say that again

Alec adds, “When George first started on the show, I didn’t even know he was from New Zealand because he did a really good Australian accent, but he does say ‘bro’ and ‘mean’ a lot, so I figured it out. It was surprising, though.” So what was the thing that most surprised George about Alec when he first started on the show in October 2014? “Well, I didn’t know he was in a band,” says George, referring to Alec’s rock group Interim, “and I didn’t know he had a pretty cool girlfriend.”

Alec is dating his former Home and Away co-star Demi Harman, who played Sasha Bezmel on the show but now stars in Winners and Losers. George continues, “That was cool but surprising because you see people working on screen together and you think that’s where it ends.” Bonds run deep on and off the Summer Bay set and as they muck about with a rugby ball on this quiet beach, it’s obvious George and Alec are more mates than just colleagues.

Alec explains, “In between scenes of the show, we like to have a bit of a laugh. We’re like kids in a toy store. We annoy the props department by fiddling with everything we can get our hands on and we make up our own scenes with lots of swearing so they feel realistic.” George adds, “We never really have a lot to do with each other in terms of storylines, but that’s about to change and we might even share a dressing room together, so we can have a little jam on the guitar. Yeah, Alec is a good man – for an Aussie at least!”

“Yeah, Alec is a good man – for an Aussie at least!” jokes George.

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