QUEANBEYAN'S Mike Smith always had every intention of returning home to perform in front of families and friends but the stars never seemed to align.
Next Tuesday, October 7, Smith will finally get his opportunity when the spy-themed production 39 Steps comes to The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre.
Smith plays the role of protagonist Richard Hannay in the play based on the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock spy thriller and novel by John Buchan.
"Richard is a classic man of his time, he is stoic, intelligent and witty, with a debonair, yet awkward charm," Smith said of his character.
"This guy is fed-up, bored with life and he asks for some excitement. It comes in the form of German spies, beautiful women and dead bodies."
Despite being more than 10 years since his last full stage performance in town, the NIDA graduate said he isn't feeling too much pressure about entertaining a home crowd.
"It's great [returning home], I've wanted to do something here for a long time but it was about the right opportunity. I'd spoken to [The Q's] Stephen Pike about different projects here and there but nothing came to fruition until now," he said.
"The Queanbeyan leg of the show is the one I've been most excited about. I'll get to catch up with friends and family and perform in my home town.
"I don't feel the pressure at all, if anything it's a more supportive crowd."
There's no shortage of home support for Smith, 41, who was recently inducted into the Queanbeyan Cultural Honours Gallery at The Q.
"I certainly hope to have a long, illustrious career so to be named in something like [the Cultural Honours Gallery] at this stage is very humbling and I'm very proud," he said.
"I was very jealous and disappointed I couldn't be there for the official opening but I look forward to seeing it when I'm in town next week."
Smith is currently based in Melbourne and is most well-known for playing the character of Callum Gilbert on Channel Seven's Winners and Losers.
More accustomed to playing "the nice guy", Smith said playing the role of the self-described "playboy" in Richard Hannay has been a welcome change from his television character.
"I'm always playing roles that are 'the boy next door', 'the nice guy' but Richard Hannay, he's misguided, a philanderer, he's like the 1935 version of James Bond with a bit of wackiness," he said.
"This character is different to everything I've ever done before. As an actor you don't want to be pigeon-holed and this was something I knew I was capable of it and wanted to prove it to myself."
Catch Queanbeyan's Mike Smith in 39 Steps at the Q from October 8 to 12. For more information visit theq.net.au.