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While in Melbourne for his career, the Go Girls actor says his heart is here.

On screen, Jay Ryan plays a guy determined to have children and settle down as he fast approaches his 30th birthday. And while the actor says he shares many similarities with his Go Girls character Kevin, parenthood isn’t the top of Jay’s things to do just yet.

In fact, the closest the Auckland-born, Australia-based star has come thus far is becoming the ‘fun and crazy’ uncle, as his sister Danu Pau, 33, prepares to give birth any day.

‘I’ve got my pre-made niece ready to pop out any second – so I can pretend I’m her dad sometimes,’ the 29-year-old says with a laugh. ‘But that doesn’t mean I’m going to change nappies.

I want the glory side – like walking down to the park with the pram, and the ladies saying, “Oh my God, is that your baby?” and I’ll say, “Well, yes.”’

The star of three seasons of Go Girls is currently living in Melbourne, filming TV One comedy Offspring, but heading home has taken on a new meaning with a niece on the way.

Doting uncle-to-be

‘I’m going to spoil her rotten. I’ve already sent a whole lot of baby clothes,’ Jay beams proudly. ‘But if it’s a boy, he might look back at pictures and be told those girlie clothes are from Uncle Jay, that crazy kook from Australia.’

Jay first hit our screens in 2002 in Australian soap Neighbours, a role that saw him move across the Tasman at just 19 – and into a wild social scene.

‘On the weekends I did go off the rails a bit but I still managed to have a business sense. Work is work and you have to do it properly. I didn’t do a Lindsay Lohan, that’s for sure, but I had a great time.’

Ten years on and now a household name for his portrayal of lovable Kevin in the comedy/drama, he says he is now far more ‘civilised.’

‘It’s dinner parties and a glass of wine for me now.’Despite the runaway success of the programme, when he was first approached about Go Girls he was dubious.

‘Go Girls sounded like a show about strippers,’ he says with a chuckle. ‘But I read the brief of Kevin’s character, the quintessential Kiwi bloke and a mechanic – my dad’s a mechanic – and I clicked straight away with him.’

And while he has always felt an affinity with Kevin’s character, with both facing their 30th birthday this year, Jay says their approach to the milestone is very different.

‘It’s a much bigger deal for Kevin than it is for Jay. It’s huge for Kev because his parents died just before they turned 30. So he has this deep anxiety to procreate. It’s very noble but I’m not getting married or having kids anytime soon. Not yet – God no,’ he says.

‘I can look after myself but that’s it. I used to want to be a young dad but that soon went out the window.’

However, he does confess that there was one part of playing Kevin’s grapple with the big three-o that rubbed off.

‘You start thinking about stability. I’d like to own my own home eventually but that’s a long way away because I
like travelling. Down the track I want to buy a property in the Coromandel or maybe Muriwai,’ he says.

But as Jay readies to head to LA for two movie auditions – one with A-lister Sigourney Weaver – he admits the travel bug will only last so long.‘New Zealand is home.’

Here are Jay’s answer to our quick-fire questions:

Which actor or actress would you most want to work with?

‘Probably Alf [the alien]. Or I’d do a duet with Kermit the Frog. I’m not a singer, but neither is Kermit so we’d do well together.’

Most embarrassing on-set moment?

‘The first time I met the Neighbours producers I spilt tea all over them, and one was wearing white suit. I was horrified.’

Where do you want to celebrate your 30th birthday?

‘In Southeast Asia with friends, drinking cocktails and living like a bazillionaire for a week.’

Source: NZ Lifestyle

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