From bad boy to leading man

23:22, Dec 05 2012
Actors George Mason and Antonia Prebble
Actors George Mason and Antonia Prebble.

At just 22 years old, rising Southland television star George Mason has shot from a bad boy hunk on Shortland Street to a lead role in the next season of TV hit comedy-drama Go Girls, all since early last year.

Mason will also star in a supporting role alongside top Kiwi actors in a new investigative drama series from the creators of Outrageous Fortune. The Blue Rose, which stars Antonia Prebble and Siobhan Marshall, is set to air on TV3 next year .

Mason said from the set of his latest job, the feature film 3 Mile Limit, that auditioning for Go Girls' new season had been ''pretty full on''.

The new cast of Go Girls including George Mason (second from right)
The new cast of Go Girls including George Mason (second from right).

''Getting the role on Go Girls took about five auditions, and it can mess with you a bit, but it's just the nature of the game,'' he said.

''A big part of being an actor is staying positive and being ready for rejection, but also upping your game for each audition.''

Mason plays the series narrator, Ted, a down-to-earth landscape gardener and cruisy dude.


Principal photography for the fifth series of the hit drama starts next week and Go Girls producer Britta Hawkins said they were thrilled to be bringing the next generation of Kiwi acting talent to the screen.

''Our new cast have big shoes to fill, but we are confident that this new group will be as loved as their predecessors.

More than 2 million New Zealanders tuned in to series four of Go Girls, which took home best drama series and best costume design at this year's NZTV awards.

Mason said it was amazing to be working again.

''To be working with such great people is a bit of a gift.  The learning for me has been huge, especially doing scenes with Antonia Prebble on The Blue Rose.''

''Working with them was great. Most of my scenes on The Blue Rose were with Antonia, and she is a beautiful actor, and so generous. There was no option but to engage and be present when working with her in a scene.''

He had also enjoyed lots of laughs working with Marshall.

Mason, who played bad boy Regan on Shortland Street last year, has also starred in Tangiwai.

He has a smaller role in 3 Mile Limit, which is based on the true story of Radio Hauraki broadcasting from international waters in the 1960s. Go Girls star Matt Whelan plays the lead.

However, back home in Invercargill he's still just George.

''To be honest my mates back home don't make a big deal out of it , but they're stoked for me and really supportive.''

He's always dreamt of acting, but he still has his feet planted firmly on the ground.

''Just to be employed as an actor in the country I love is so cool and I'm really lucky,'' Mason said.

''From here I'd love to go and try to get work in Australia and hopefully go to America next year.''

However, right now he's looking forward to getting home to the south for Christmas.

''I'm looking forward to catching up with my family and the lads down there. And I miss my dog, Lou.''

The Southland Times