Ethan Browne, who plays Tane Parata on Home and Away, spoke to Digital Spy about his character’s new path.
Tane has been forced to step up as head of the Parata family after his older brother Ari made a big sacrifice in a new narrative presently showing on UK screens.
To protect his fiancée Mia Anderson and her daughter Chloe, Ari has claimed responsibility for Matthew Montgomery’s death.
Tane has been left to pick up the pieces for the rest of the family now that Ari is in prison.
“Tane understands it’s necessary and must be done,” Ethan told Digital Spy, “but he’s secretly uncomfortable in taking on the position, even though he knows he has no choice and must be the pillar for his family.”
He went on to say about his own real-life reaction: “I welcomed it wholeheartedly. I believe it is the next logical step in Tane’s personal growth and development, and it fundamentally alters who he is.”
Tane stepped in when his nephew Nikau struggled with Ari’s decision in recent episodes.
Tane took Nikau on a journey and began training him how to use the Taiaha, a traditional Mori weapon that can bring spiritual guidance in times of trouble.
Nikau’s training continues in this week’s broadcasts on Channel 5. Nikau eventually masters the usage of the Taiaha after several days of practise, impressing Tane.
Ethan went on to say: “We’ve always had a big say in the cultural narratives. We all grew up in our respective cultures, so we bring our own perspectives to the table and share ideas with the writers.
“Filming these sequences with Kawa [Fox-Reo, who plays Nikau] was incredible. We were both new to Taiaha, Kawa and I. I had never actually handled a Taiaha before.
“It’s a sacred and meaningful process, and to be able to use it is a big honour in our culture.” I consider myself really fortunate and happy that we were given the opportunity to do so. And the show’s acceptance of it is remarkable.
“These sequences have already shown in Australia, and the response has been incredible. It was a massive, all-positive response. It makes me glad to know that the cultural work we do has a beneficial impact on individuals of all cultures, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
In response to Tane’s trust in Nikau, Ethan added: “Nikau will succeed, he knows from personal experience. He knows Nikau well enough to know that he’ll suffer a few setbacks along the way, but that won’t stop him from excelling at whatever he sets his mind to.”