800 Words star's battle between heart and head

14th September 2017 5:00 AM
Benson Jack Anthony stars as Arlo in 800 Words. Benson Jack Anthony stars as Arlo in 800 Words. Channel 7

"HE'S just pretty much a bag of hormones this season."

That's how Benson Jack Anthony sums up his 800 Words alter ego, Arlo, as the third season of the family drama unfolds.

Set in the small New Zealand town of Weld, the show follows the Turner family - father George (Erik Thomson), daughter Shay (Melina Vidler) and son Arlo - who crossed the Ditch in season one after the death of George's wife.

After finding their place in the town, viewers have tuned in to follow George as he navigates the world of women and romance again and Shay as she falls in and out of love and trouble.

Then there's Arlo, who Anthony says has been the most stable out of the three of them - but that's set to change.

Benson Jack Anthony stars in 800 Words alongside Melina Vidler and Erik Thomson.
Benson Jack Anthony stars in 800 Words alongside Melina Vidler and Erik Thomson. Channel 7


"I think while George is the rock because he's the eldest and he's the father figure, I think emotionally Arlo is the rock," he tells The Guide.

"When Shay's going through her trials and tribulations, Arlo's the emotional rock to provide support and stability and some perspective, and also for George.

"He's kind of the little wise kid.

"When that stability is rocked by some hormones, the dynamic in the house changes a bit when all is not well in Arlo's world."

Anthony describes Arlo's love life as "rapid" in season three and the teen, in his last year of school, will fall in love quickly and often.

"Arlo's brain sometimes conflicts with the heart - he has the old head and heart going in a real boxing match this time around," he says.

But family comes first, a family Anthony feels just as committed to after going through a "slow journey into manhood" with the cast on set.

"I've really grown up on the set over there and found role models there and they've really helped me come into my own and vice versa," he says.

"I think we've all really helped each other a lot and we all get along and our relationship doesn't end on cut when we go home or on wrap."

Anthony is thrilled with the show's success and says the fact it's still on screens is a tribute to the fans.

"The fact that Australia's kinda welcomed it so openly into their homes is a blessing," he says.

"I didn't really imagine it but by taking it a season at a time and the cast churning out good work, I'm happy that we got here."

800 Words airs Tuesdays at 8.45pm on Channel 7.