He graced our screens this year as a young sword-wielding Julius Caesar in Spartacus: War of the Damned and will next be seen as a soldier on the front lines of World War I in ANZAC Girls, but despite these heroic roles Todd Lasance tells Laura Brodnik he’s just a geek who loves the world of TV and movies.

“I’m definitely a nerd on the inside,” he laughs. “I’ve always been very interested in characters and stories. I did drama classes in high school to try and see where I’d fit into that world.”

Lasance first won the hearts of Australia as Aden Jefferies in Home and Away and since his departure from the soapie has starred in Underbelly Files: Tell Them Lucifer Was Here, The Great Mint Swindle, Cloudsteet, Crownies and Rescue: Special Ops. While he has enjoyed success on the Australian screen it was his role in Spartacus that changed his life and propelled him onto the international scene.

“I was at home with mum and dad in Newcastle when I got that call,” Lasance says. “ I’d filmed an audition tape in Sydney and sent it away to the casting agents in LA. The first words out of my agent’s mouth when he called were ‘do you feel like moving to New Zealand?’ and I knew instantly that I’d got it. We were having lunch and mum started crying. It was one of the best moments of my life.It changed my life.

“Training for the role was very intense; we were at the gym every day to get to the physical level that was required for the show and eating a lot to maintain it. I never want to see another piece of lean chicken.” shared Todd Lasance on the role that changed his life

He’s successfully avoided the post-soapie abyss of obscurity, but unlike other stars who’ve managed to carve out a career after Home and Away the Logie winner has nothing but nice things to say about the show.“I don’t regret anything about Home and Away,” the 28-year-old says. “It was an incredible learning experience because I was really thrown into the deep end. Sometimes we had to film 31 pages of dialogue in one day.

“All of a sudden I was getting a huge amount of interest from the media and the public which was a little crazy. None of my family or friends are in the business and it all seemed very strange to us.”

Lasance is now back in Australia, following a stint on the US audition circuit, to film ABC’s ANZAC Girls which will screen later this year. “It’s about five military nurses from Australia and New Zealand in World War I and it’s all real life stories based on the diaries of the nurses,” he says. “I play one of the soldiers and it was amazing to be part of a shoot that tells that part of Australia’s history.

“Having diversity in my work and in the characters I play is something that’s always been very important to me and it’s something my agent and I have always discussed when taking on roles.

“I don’t take on a role just to work. I’m always on the lookout for something that challenges me.”