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Xavier Samuel is having quite the year. After returning to his theatrical roots in 2015, the 33-year-old has starred in four films released in the past six months.

He was the eponymous time-traveller in The Death and Life of Otto Bloom and the romantic lead in Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship. In September he starred in Tim Ferguson’s bogan rom-com Spin Out then teamed up with Eddie Murphy in Mr Church.

What’s the buzz?

The Daily Review said he stole the show in Belvoir Street Theatre’s The Dog/The Cat, but this year’s hype has centred around his turn in Love & Friendship – described as excellent by The Australian, and a standout performance by Variety.

In the beginning …

Xavier’s love of acting began at Rostrevor College in Adelaide, when an unconventional drama teacher staged Steven Berkoff’s controversial work West.

“Not the kind of play you imagine doing at school,” Xavier says. “He censored it, but it was enough to prick up my ears.” Xavier went on to study drama at Flinders University. His first screen role was as a dodgy boyfriend in McLeod’s Daughters. Sadly, his role was cut.

The big break …

Hollywood fame beckoned when Xavier was cast in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. “It’s helpful to have a flirtation with celebrity on that scale and realise it’s not what you think it is,” he says. “You romanticise that level of exposure, but the reality of it is not necessarily as satisfying as projects like Love & Friendship.”

Where to now?

Xavier joins an impressive cast for the ABC’s highly anticipated adaptation of Seven Types of Ambiguity, due to air in 2017. He’ll also be back on the big screen in Aussie thriller Bad Blood and comedy A Few Less Men.

The best part about success …

“The goalposts always shift, don’t they? I think just being able to relax a bit and not be stressed out by the uncertainty I experienced early as an actor.”

If I could do it all again …

“It’s like Jenga. If you pulled out one piece, it could come crashing. I don’t know if I’d do anything differently. I’d maybe treat the experiences differently.”