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Unorthodox he may be

but little Miles Buchanan - who made his name as Home Sweet Home's kid brother - is planning

his own brilliant career

Miles Buchanan's mother, Jo,

comes clean and admits her son is a little eccentric. "Sometimes when we go out he dresses in some weird clothes," she said. "Last time the family went out he wore rolled-up yellow and black check pants, red scarf, my black coat, odd coloured socks and a stetson hat."

But Miles defends his sanity and repu- tation, and flatly denies it. "That was just a joke, wearing those clothes," he said.

The Buchanan family lives in a leafy suburb on Sydney's northern beaches area, and has all the trappings of a nor- mal family plus an interesting house, lots of cats, a dog, and a cocky who lives in the lounge-room.

Miles has the intelligence and ma- turity of a person many years his senior. Frankly, he's an untypical 14-year-old. But ironically, he looks a few years younger than his early teens.

His face is familiar to many viewers and he's probably best remembered for his role as a young Italian-born Austra- lian in ABC-TV's successful comedy series, Home Sweet Home, which went to air last year. A second series will be screened later this year and Miles is cur- rently gearing himself for a third series to start production in September.

Meanwhile, Miles is starring in a new children's adventure yarn called Secret Valley, written and co-directed by Terry Bourke, co-director of Little Boy Lost.

Terry praises Miles as an actor: "He's the best child actor I've ever worked with. Miles is very receptive to direction when it comes to filming. He has the mind of an adult and the enthusi- asm of a young boy. He's also a good listener, which is a rare quality in a child actor. Miles ability to be sensitive as well as happy-go-lucky when required makes him an all-round performer. And he's ob- viously an actor who'll do what Roddy McDowall and Elizabeth Taylor did -

graduate from child roles to adult stardom."

Because of his heavy work schedule, Miles does not go to school. He is educated by correspondence course, but finds few problems acting and doing

schoolwork too.

His ambition is to become an accom- plished actor. And with his talent and his

At work on another aspect of his acting, Miles is a busy lad and no dummy.

determination, he should have few prob- lems attaining that goal. "Fd like to con- tinue working in television and Fd also like to do a feature film and work in theatre," he explained.

Miles said that working on Home Sweet Home has provided him with in- valuable experience. He constantly praises John Bluthal, who also starred in the series, and who, he says, has helped him enormously refining his craft.

"John really is a fine actor and a per- fectionist. While working on the series he was well respected by cast and crew alike. And he worked with the director and scriptwriter to make sure everything was just right.

"We've become friends and, although John is currently in England, he writes to me," Miles said.

Apart from acting, Miles has many other interests. Like his father, he is a musician. Miles plays the guitar and piano and is a member of a band which

featured at a restaurant*

He says his band does a few cover ver- sions and he also writes some of his own

material. "Sometimes I write the songs myself and other times I work with a friend," he added.

He's also a Beatles freak and doesn't mind spinning the odd Frank Sinatra re- cord. "I like a lot of different styles of music - classical, jazz and rock - and my hobby is collecting Beatle albums,"

he said.

As, obviously a very "arty" person, he also turns his hand to a little sketching and painting and even dabbles in a little ventriloquism. Adorning the wall of the lounge-room is a sketch of Sinatra.

"I never do self-portraits, but I paint and draw pictures of other people. I'm a better sketch artist than a painter, but when I do paint I do landscapes and that sort of thing," Miles said.

Miles is not trapped in a star-studded outlook, hesitating when asked if he likes to be recognized in the street and if he is ever asked for autographs. He raises his eyebrows and wryly smiles - and says he's not keen on the adulation that goes with the acting profession.

_- JON VIDLERl

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