DAYLESFORD'S Jackson Gallagher never made it to his pre-med course.
Fame got in the way.
The 23-year-old has spent the past five months preparing for his new role on Home and Away, after his life took some "funny turns".
Jackson gave up his spot in a pre-med course at Melbourne University to complete a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in film and anthropology.
His passion for acting began early. Before he started studying, he had accepted a small role on The Saddle Club, spent time at a circus summer camp in New York and landed a gig on the horror film Patrick.
While he said moving to Sydney for Home and Away was daunting, it was an honour to be part of such an iconic Australian TV show.
He will star alongside Tai Hara, who plays his brother Andy in the show.
"We've established a really great bond since we started working together and it's nice to have someone who is just starting with you too," he said. "It's a whole new life for me and while I still come home to Daylesford every chance I get, it's like having a beautiful new family here in Sydney ."
Jackson admits that his character, Josh Barrett, sometimes takes over his real identity but said it was "all part of the job".
"It takes a lot of dedication to get to know the character you're playing and you can start thinking and feeling like them," he said.
"Initially your lives cross over because you try and do the character justice and you can lose yourself a bit. But it's just like any other job. It consumes you but it's worth it.
"What I really like about Josh's story is it demonstrates that your past doesn't necessarily define your future, and you don't have to be who people expect you to be."
Jackson premiered on Home and Away last night but he said he was still not entirely comfortable with his new-found stardom.
"It's always been a bizarre thing to see yourself on screen ."