James O'Dea

Biography: He trained hard for years, made the grade and was selected to represent Australia in the Triathlon team in Mexico this November, then declined. James was offered the role of Red in The Saddle Club and that, to him, was far more important. "I have been interested in Triathlon since I was at school, then I went into it full- on about a year ago. It's a pretty heavy commitment, training nine or ten sessions a week. It was great when I got through the qualifying races and won the Nationals, but I didn't have to think too hard about giving up my place in the team when this role came up," James explained. "And Triathlon is a sport where your endurance grows with your age, so I figure I can pick it up again in the future," says the 20 year old.

Red O'Malley is the lead stable hand at Pine Hollow, a good-looking young man who is the epitome of cool to the girls. James fits the role well and brings to the series a personable, laid-back charm. He is meticulous in his research and
He trained hard for years, made the grade and was selected to represent Australia in the Triathlon team in Mexico this November, then declined. James was offered the role of Red in The Saddle Club and that, to him, was far more important. "I have been interested in Triathlon since I was at school, then I went into it full- on about a year ago. It's a pretty heavy commitment, training nine or ten sessions a week. It was great when I got through the qualifying races and won the Nationals, but I didn't have to think too hard about giving up my place in the team when this role came up," James explained. "And Triathlon is a sport where your endurance grows with your age, so I figure I can pick it up again in the future," says the 20 year old.

Red O'Malley is the lead stable hand at Pine Hollow, a good-looking young man who is the epitome of cool to the girls. James fits the role well and brings to the series a personable, laid-back charm. He is meticulous in his research and spends a lot of time talking to the wranglers and watching how they handle the horses and do their jobs. "I love to watch Graham Ware (the Head Wrangler) in the Sand Ring training the horses. He has this bond with them that is incredible to see and I watch and try to pick up how he does it," he says.

With his Triathlon training in swimming, running and riding, James is a fit young man. He played Football at school and also with the local junior football club, was keen on basketball and tennis and is now horse-riding as much as possible. An ex member of the Australian Boys Choir, he still sings and will be featured in three tracks of The Saddle Club C.D.

James' interest in acting was sparked by a great drama teacher at school who cast him as the lead in Bugsy Malone, when he was eight years of age, then encouraged him to do some training as an actor because she saw potential. "I think it was the excitement of playing a different character as well as the applause which got to me in a big way," he says. "I did some training, including a number of Workshops in The Meisner Technique, which I found pretty intense improvisational work, but it all helps. Mostly, though, I watch how other actors approach a scene and ask questions of everyone. When I started out, I did a lot of work as an extra to get used to cameras. I was pretty nervous and, even as an extra, walking along in the background, I would wonder if I were doing it right and would the director be O.K. with the way I was doing it," James admits.

The hard work paid off and a lead guest role in the top rating Australian drama Blue Heelers recently was highly acclaimed. James is passionate about acting but is also working at the moment on Plan B, a Business Degree. "I love acting and that is my career path. But it is of paramount importance to me to have a degree and a good knowledge of finance, marketing and general business as a back-up," he has decided.
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Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd The Saddle Club: Season 2 Apr 1, 2003 Red (Season 2- ) tbd
tbd The Saddle Club: Season 1 Feb 6, 2001 Red (Season 2- ) tbd