EXCLUSIVE: Home And Away fave Lincoln Younes spills on his new gig and the kind-hearted lockdown habit that went viral amongst his celebrity friends
”There were some very surreal moments.”
Last year, while holed up in a bunker in Los Angeles, Lincoln Younes realized something. He couldn’t work because the pandemic had shut down most of the productions in the area. The actor, on the other hand, could learn to appreciate simple pleasures.
“I did a lot of cooking,” the 29-year-old says to TV WEEK. “Being Lebanese, I used to cook ridiculous amounts of food and then give it to friends all over LA, which made me feel connected in some way. Because I couldn’t see my friends, I’d leave food parcels outside their doors to honor my Lebanese family.”
Lincoln’s culinary abilities were discovered by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who sent him an expletive-laden (of course) message of encouragement, which the former Home And Away star later credited to the efforts of his LA-based friend, Dancing With The Stars’ Renee Bargh.
“There were some very surreal moments for me in isolation,” Lincoln says with a laugh.
Not content with becoming a foodie (he also grew his own tomatoes), Lincoln put his DIY skills to the test by restoring a rusty bird-feeder he found in his backyard.
“I thought, ‘I’d love to see some hummingbirds in my tiny little garden’,” he recalls. “I cleaned it up and spent three months trying to lure hummingbirds. And then they became my friends.”
Lincoln has been filming the role of hunky jackaroo Tom for season five of Nine Network drama Doctor Doctor since August of last year. Lincoln was so dedicated to the role that he got his motorcycle license just to perfect his “own version of James Dean.
” Tom is a handyman, which Lincoln can understand. In a way. “I’d like to think I’m handy,” he says, “but it’s funny because I got back and did Doctor Doctor and then went back to see my family over Christmas, and there was a little bit of life imitating art.” “My mother had just purchased a new home in the country, and I was put to work doing exactly what I’d seen on TV!”
“It was a good bit of cross-promotion. I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve just learnt this, this is great!’ It was nice to get back on the land, and nature, and use my hands.”
Lincoln goes on to say that he admires Tom’s ability to be “present.” “That’s something I tried to work on during the pandemic,” he emphasizes. “Just being in the moment and not overthinking things because there is so much uncertainty, and it’s good to enjoy the moments as they happen.”
“Tom is a bit of a nomad, and Lincoln can empathize with that. He moved around a lot as a kid with his mother and younger brother. They moved to larger cities and regional cities such as Bendigo, Victoria, and smaller country towns like Doctor Doctor’s fictional Why hope. Moving forces change, Lincoln admits, and you must adapt wherever you go, especially in places “as extreme as LA.”
Effortlessly engaging and chatty at our exclusive TV WEEK photoshoot, Lincoln’s an easy guy to like. After getting his break on the Foxtel series, Tangle, Lincoln landed in Summer Bay in 2011, playing River Boy Casey Braxton in Home And Away.
Reflecting on his time in the Bay, Lincoln says the show was “like family for a time”. “It was a chapter of my life that I will forever be grateful for,” he says.
Since leaving H&A in 2014, he’s had plenty of work, starring in local series Hiding, Love Child, and Dead Lucky before landing a lead role in Grand Hotel, a saucy US drama executive produced by former Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria-Baston.
Despite the fact that the show was canceled after one season, Lincoln is enthusiastic about his experience working on a US TV series.
Then there was the thrill of being cast in a lead role in the pilot for The Lost Boys, a remake of the iconic 1980s vampire film. While that project is still in the works, Lincoln is “hopeful” that it will be approved.
“I have a lot of friends who are incredibly talented, wonderful people who aren’t working,” he says. “This industry is extremely difficult, but you just have to keep learning.
” You have to stay that kid who’s living his dream when you get to shoot in places like Miami and LA. It’s important, in my opinion, to be able to stay excited in a world that isn’t always exciting. You can only be yourself.” He adds, almost Zen-like, that he aspires to be the “calm in the chaos.”
Lincoln is, for all his success, remarkably grounded. He has a mature perspective on life beyond his years. “I have a lot of wonderful people in my life who’ve instilled a lot of life lessons,” he says. “I can attribute it to that.”
He acknowledges that he owes a lot to his mother, who instilled in him the value of loyalty and “kindness above all.” “What I should say is that she taught me that being kind is preferable to being right,” he explains.
“One of the strongest people I know,” he says of his mother. “She (Lincoln’s mother) raised us (Lincoln and his brother) in such a way that I’m proud of who I am.
” She was and continues to be a fantastic support system.
“But she’s a rock star and she’s very happy I’m back in the country,” says the mother, who admits it’s not easy to hear your child wants to be an actor. Lincoln expresses himself romantically as if he is content to ride alone. “For the time being, I’m staying in my lane,” he says.
“I’m content with being a good friend, a good son, and a good employee.” I’m more concerned with improving myself and allowing things to happen when they’re supposed to.”