2001, by: Tom Brouwers
Family Hoflin and old biography of Jonathan M. Shiff
Born on February 25, 1979 in Stockholm, Sweden, David Hoflin moved to Australia
with his family when he was just four years of age.
A boy who acted since he was just a little kid, is now known worldwide.
have a look how it all started.
David got his first role in the film ‘Evil Angels’, also known as ‘A Cry in the Dark’.
This boy was lucky to work already for the very first time with superstars
like Meryl Streep and Sam Neill. In the following 14 years David has continued
performing in feature films, theatre and on TV. His guest roles on TV shows
includes ‘The Flying Doctors’, ‘Halfway across the Galaxy and turn left’, ‘Law of the Land’,
‘Murder Call’, ‘Eugenie Sandler P.I.’, etc and also American shows like ‘Flipper’ and ‘The Lost World’.
There have also been many advertisements, mainly on TV but also in cimemas.
(A bit of trivia for Australians: You might remember one of the first much talked about,
hard hitting TAC ads 11 years ago? A young boy got killed on a pedestrians’ crossing by a speeding motorist
and his mother comes running to hold him. That boy was David. 10 years later he was called back to portray
L-plater who has a bad car accident from lack of practise on the roads.)
But the role that really had an impact on David’s life was the one as Jason,
the eldest son of Commander Bates, in the worldwide hit TV series ‘Ocean Girl’
(in some countries called ‘Ocean Odyssey’). Marzena Godecki (Neri), Lauren Hewett (Mera),
Jeffrey Walker (Brett Bates) and David made four series of adventures together.
David very much enjoyed his time in ‘Ocean Girl’. He liked the concept of mysterious beings and
the how we should work with the environment and he hopes that it may start some young persons thinking
of what we are doing to the world. The people he worked with became like an extended family,
which was terrific since a lot of the filming was done in North Queensland
away from home for several weeks at a time. When asked about the similarities between the Jason character
and himself, David says that they are pretty similar but that Jason probably has a more serious outlook
life and that he works harder to make an ecological difference.
About Jonathan M. Shiff, the producer of Ocean Girl, he tells the following:
“Jonathan is not only a person who is terrific at securing investors,
but he also gets involved in the day-to-day filming, so we all saw him a lot.
He lived and breathed Ocean Girl for the five years it took to complete the series
and worked closely with the directors. Jonathan is very imaginative, he is open to new ideas
he shows his appreciation if
he thinks you have done a good job.”
David enjoys being physically active - you might even call him a bit of of a fitness freak.
He doesn’t smoke or drink tea or coffee, and although he doesn’t say no to a beer or two
when he is out clubbing, his favourite everyday drink is water.
He enjoys most kinds of sport and activities; tennis, basketball, soccer, golf,
Tai Chi, Wushu, skiing, snowboarding etc and is a regular at his local gym.
In fact, the acting profession nearly lost him to that of a tennis player...
At 5 years of age, his goal in life was to become a new Stefan Edberg
and he wanted to be taught professionally! Most of the tennis coaches that were approached
thought he was too young, but finally one coach was impressed by David’s determination
and took him on when David was 5 ½. David became a top player and although he was several years younger
than the others in his team, he successfully played competition tennis for many years,
he became too busy with his acting and had to chose one or the other.
David has also always liked to draw and has recently started using pastel pencils and crayons.
But next to acting, David’s second love is music. One of the first words he could say was “guitar”
and he always loved the instrument, although no one in the family owned one or could play.
He played with toy guitars when he was a child, but when he turned 14,
all he wanted was a proper aucoustic guitar and with the help of CDs and music videos
plus a good ear for music, he taught himself to play. He seems to have a real talent for this
and since then his guitar goes with him wherever he is and he spends most of the breaks
when filming working out a new song. He was also in a singing group for a while and a year ago
some Melbourne musician friends and David formed a band, “Dave’s Garage”,
in which he plays the guitar and sings. For the moment, though, the band has to function without him
most of the time, since David is shooting Head Start in Sydney,
he joins them whenever he can come down to Melbourne.
After finishing high school in 1997 David went on to university where he studied History,
Archaeology and Cinema Studies. Although his heart was really set on acting,
he thought it wouldn’t be a secure enough profession, so he wanted something to fall back on.
But fade stepped in. After one year of studying David and his family moved to another place,
which made it difficult to continue, since the nearest university didn’t offer the subjects he was taking.
Until then he had always combined acting with studies, and after some serious thinking,
he then decided to give acting a 100% shot - for a year. That year has now become more than two,
is still acting and busier than ever, so it seems like his studies will have to
wait a bit longer.
The present role of Patrick Gormley in TV’s new series ‘Head Start’ is David’s latest addition
to his character gallery and a very interesting one for him, since Patrick is a far cry from David’s alter ego
and the roles he has played before. ‘Head Start’ is produced by the Ben Gannon team
that is also behind the hugely successful ‘Heartbreak High’ series, so it has all the promise of a quality show.
Patrick was originally only going to be in the series for 10 episodes, but the producers
liked David’s audition so much that the original story was changed to include the character permanently!
David is similarly impressed by the show: “I am really enthusiastic about Head Start!
It has interesting characters and storylines and I think it will become favourite viewing
for a lot of people. The cast is great, we get on really well which is always a plus!
I wouldn’t say I share my character’s, (Patrick) view on everything;
he is quite conservative and a bit of a “redneck”, but I think he is honest and has got some substance
I hope the viewers will get to like this rough diamond.”
As we can see David is very enthusiastic about Head Start. But what about ‘ Ocean Girl’ where it all started?
Has he forgotten it? No, of course not! David likes to keep in touch with the actors from this show,
but seeing each other is presenting more and more of a problem. “It is difficult to keep in contact
when you are no longer working together. Jeffrey and I are still in touch, but not as often as we would like.
I last saw him at his 18th birthday party last year, but we talk over the phone.
We used to share accommodation when we were on location in Queensland, we shared everything
and learnt our lines together, we kind of became brothers in real life too. I think we will probably always have a special bond.
Sam Johnson (“Rocky” from OG2) and myself try to have a game of tennis or golf every now and then
I also bump into Jeremy Angerson (“Kal” from OG3) from time to time.”
When it comes to naming favourite actors and directors, David has to think long and hard.
He points out that there are so many different categories in acting that it really is difficult to name The Best,
but some of his favourites are Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Edward Norton, Robert Downey Jr, Al Pacino,
and Stellan Skarsgard. He would also love to work with Meryl Streep again, and names Brenda Fricker and Charlize Theron
among the female actors that he likes. There are also a lot of interesting directors that he would like to work with;
Scorsese, Sean Penn and again with Fred Schepisi, to name a few.
For Australia ‘Head Start’ already started. The rest of the world will have to wait for David and all the others
to appear on their screens. The role of young Jason gave David fan mail from all over the world
it might just be that Patrick will make a Head Start to David’s adult acting
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