Warrior set to wow on screen

Robert DoughertyBroome Advertiser
Actor Nelson Baker mucks around off camera in Warmun during filming of The Warriors.
Camera IconActor Nelson Baker mucks around off camera in Warmun during filming of The Warriors. Credit: The Kimberley Echo, Peter de Kruijff

A Broome superstar is shining bright as Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts graduate Nelson Baker prepares for his first major on-screen debut in television series The Warriors.

The 23-year-old, who was born and raised in Broome, was chosen for the role of Australian Rules footballer and number five draft pick Zane in the eight-episode ABC drama-comedy to be aired later this year.

Baker said it wasn’t always easy as he worked sporadically in construction and at Broome Hospital, danced at the Mowanjum Festival and graduated university with a certificate V in Aboriginal Theatre and Diploma of Screen Performance.

“I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but when I got there, it wasn’t for me — there’s always things your brain does easier; for example, I could do English but I couldn’t do mathematics, things like that,” he said.

“When I was at university, I auditioned for it (The Warriors) and I didn’t find out until a few months later — I just forgot all about it, auditioned for a few other things and continued with my university work.”

The former Broome Senior High School student’s persistence paid off as he appeared in advertisements for the Department of Health, Edith Cowen University and made a video clip with Goolari Media, which prepared him for ABC filming to begin on October 16 last year.

“It felt right and I fitted in really well — it was a really great experience seeing how everything worked, from being at university and in class to going to acting next to John Howard and brushing my teeth in the morning with Lisa McCune, talking and fooling around with Vince Colosimo,” he said.

“It was just unexpected like that, I was honoured to work alongside them and to see those big actors in a scene, how authentic and natural they can be — it was really fascinating.”

Baker said he planned to save up, continue work with agency Now Actors, and maintain his fitness to pursue an acting career in Melbourne later this year, and he hoped viewers enjoy the show.

“At the moment, I’ve just finished university and got a TV series — this is more than I thought I’d have done in this amount of time,” he said.

“I think people will like my character Zane — he is definitely a good person — he takes pride in the hard work he does. If he works hard at something, he wants a reward but sometimes that doesn’t happen and he doesn’t understand why.”

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