His face is still well-known to millions of Australians, despite the fact it’s been 16 years since Dieter Brummer left Home and Away.
In recent years he has appeared in Underbelly: Tale of Two Cities, Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Review with Myles Barlow and Neighbours -to which he now returns.
With years out of the spotlight, save largely for a recent brush with the law, Brummer has had to chip away at a return to acting.
At 36 years of age he’s also not exactly the blonde Summer Bay teenager anymore, but does he feel that he has been typecast by casting agents?
“I really don’t know what they think. If I’m typecast then it’s not the kind of thing where they’re going to say ‘We can’t cast you in this role because we only see you as whatever.’ So it would just be an assumption on my behalf,” he admits.
“You test for something and if you don’t get it you’re either too short, too tall, too old ….I’m getting closer to 40 so I’m too old for the hero roles. One audition I did for Wild Boys I tested for the role that David Fields ended up getting. The character breakdown to me said he was at least 40+, and more than likely 50s. Not that I’m saying David Fields is weathered but I wasn’t right for the role, so I was a little confused about why they were seeing me for a character that was a lot older.
“I thought ‘Jeez am I looking that old now? I don’t feel that old!’”
Reprising the role of Troy in Neighbours, Brummer plays the biological father of Callum Jones (Morgan Baker), following a stint in the ELEVEN soap last year.
“It was a little bit different this time. Troy knew what he wanted and knew how to go about things, playing characters off against each other and leaving people with a smug, knowing smile which was infuriating for the other characters.
“It was good fun. More interesting than playing a goodie two-shoes, nice guy.
“But I think Troy’s pretty much done his dash this time around. There’s only so far the storyline can go.
“Callum is his biological son and he missed out on too much of his life to just pick up and be his dad.”
With four years on Home and Away under his belt, Brummer is an old hand at the frenetic pace of soap production. He defends their work ethic, including Neighbours‘ high benchmark of 6 episodes per week on tight crews.
“It’s easy to have a go at serial dramas but everyone puts in a lot of effort to get through the work. If only those who were so quick to judge could have a go at that style of television and work on it for a month or more, they’d probably change their mind,” he says.
“There’s only so much you can do with limited time when you’re on a different system to years gone by with three cameras. They shoot with much more of a film style, so it’s difficult for actors to come up with matching performances on each take. So then that makes it difficult for the editors.”
When he isn’t acting Brummer is content with his outdoors work in ‘Difficult Access Building Maintanence,’
“It’s a modern term for high-rise abseiling,” he admits.
He once had his own company but found it difficult to upkeep in between acting jobs.
“When you can’t be fully committed to keeping your own clients and it becomes a bit sporadic, keeping jobs and having staff …it becomes a bit too much. So I subcontract to other companies and one in particular at the moment, so that alleviates a lot of stress and headache of trying to find jobs.”
More recently, Brummer has been back in the headlines for the wrong reasons. A Magistrate deemed a 2011 post-Logies scuffle with Crown Casino security as being “an incident which I trust is out of character for you,” without recording a conviction against him.
But he declined to comment on the case.
“I appreciate you have to ask but I won’t be discussing that subject matter because it’s still in its process, so I have nothing to say about that. But I hope the rest of the year looks up and fills me with as much joy as the weather in Sydney has been lately.”
Neighbours airs at 6:30pm weeknights on ELEVEN.