WHEN Matthew Backer packed his bags and left Maryborough for a chance to attend a prestigious Sydney acting school, walking the red carpet with some of the biggest names in Hollywood was something he could only dream about.
Five years later, an exclusive invite to the Sydney premiere of Les Miserables on the weekend cemented his place in Australia's entertainment industry.
The son of former rugby league star Brad Backer had the chance to rub shoulders with Aussie stars Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe and was celebrating at the after party when the pair performed three songs from the much anticipated film.
While it was his contacts in the industry and not a role on the film which scored him tickets to the premiere, Matthew is well on his way to becoming a star in his own right.
The premiere was held at the Sydney Theatre Company - owned by Australian actress Cate Blanchett and husband Andrew - where he will perform in the sold out production Machinal later next year.
At the launch of the STC earlier this year Matthew got his first real taste of what it was like to make the big time.
"I got invited to the launch because I was going to be in one of the shows and Cate got up and started introducing all the plays and the actors that were going to be in them," Matthew said.
"It sounds silly but hearing Cate Blanchett say your name - well it's pretty exciting to say the least."
The role is just one of the career achievements Matthew can boast on his resume since his first job as a cub reporter in Maryborough's Chronicle office.
Last year he scored the coveted role of Frankie Valla in the Broadway hit Jersey Boys.
He stepped off the stage and into the television studio earlier this year to film 27 episodes of the new children's program History Hunters.
The show is targeted a primary school audience and will air on Channel 7 and the ABC in Australia and the BBC in Canada around March next year.
"It was the best thing I had done in years," Matthew said.
"I worked with one of my friends who was in NIDA with me and it was just great to try other things and get experience in another field.
"In the meantime Matthew is preparing for a part in the stage show History Boys which stars Offspring's John Wood and actress Heather Mitchell.
The Tony Award winning production opens at the Sydney Opera House in February.
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