The Shak star Beau Walker, aka 'Nitro', sat down with Yahoo Australia to chat about the show, his experience, his relationship with 'Curio', 'Eco' and 'Picasso' and what he's doing now.
BEAU WALKER: So your name's not Nitro?
[HIP HOP MUSIC]
Mom didn't call me Nitro.
[HIP HOP MUSIC]
I was a surfer. I still am a surfer. And I met this girl, and she got asked to do this, sort of, audition. I was just there. What was really interesting was it came down to me and Lincoln Lewis for the gig of Nitro.
All of a sudden, I got this call, two weeks later, going, good day, mate. I'm like, oh, hey. He said, oh, it's Roy, the series producer.
I'm like, oh, what are you doing? He goes, yeah, you got the job. I'm like, what do I do? He goes, you know what, surf, soccer, skydive, bungee jump, drive cars. I'm like, what are you-- you're gonna pay me to do that?
Never at all. I think what's funny, when it comes to, like, the TV world, especially in the kids, sort of, genre, was they kind of like people that don't know because you haven't been to acting school, and working, and go, and scene, I'm acting now. Like, you're just who you are. And they'll pick a personality that fits the type.
Awful. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was awful. I was so nervous. When I say, awful, it's actually a really good memory.
My first-ever shoot was a skateboarding story. And then we went to the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, so it was like how to become a firefighter. And they-- it was a 36-degree day. And we were in a full turnout suit, so the whole kit and caboodle for if you were to go in and actually save people in a fire situation.
I had to say, hey, if you're a boy or a girl and you want to become a firefighter, well, come with me as I spend a day with the Queensland Fire and Rescue services. I remember it to this day, right, first-ever shoot. 46 times, it took me to say that, and it was so funny because everyone was so hot and so sweaty.
And it was my first day. And I was like, oh, no. This is it. I'm done.
Yeah, you know what's really interesting is we're so, so different. And a lot of people don't realize it's, like, outside the show, we never hung out. Getting to know them was fine. Like, we really all got along quite well, and we did-- we all gelled amazingly well.
We used to get that all the time. Like, hey, what's Curio doing, and what's-- like, all the time. All the kids were super invested, which was cool. It was humbling. And they would be kind of-- I stopped saying it because people would start getting devastated when they realized we didn't hang out. So I was just like, cut that one.
So I remember going to Fiji, and I get this, hey, Brother Nitro. I'm like, ha, ha, that's pretty cool. So your name's not Nitro? No.
Mom didn't call me Nitro. Some places, like Revolva, that's down in Melbourne, which is known as, like, a dirty nightclub, and places like that, they'll be like, oh, Nitro! It's crazy. But then, also, festivals. To get from here to, like, the start, to near the stage, would usually take-- I'd literally take nearly 150, 200 photos every time, but it didn't bother me because it was all-- you know, like, you kept me in a job.
"The Shak" was sort of one of kind of a show, and we got it described to us. They said, we've given you character names, so people automatically-- can automatically connect with one of you. It's like when you get a Big Mac. You know what you're gonna get. When you get a chicken burger, you know what you're gonna get, and they just wanted that.
So when Nitro comes on the show, you know it's gonna be sports, challenge. He's gonna do, like, a Dare Nitro. He's gonna to be like whatever. When Curio comes, you know it's gonna be a [INAUDIBLE]. So it was kind of catering to every kid.
I think that kind of element of the show-- and Teague McGrath was the guy that originally helped put that show together. It was quite iconic. Like, there was nothing really like that.
Yes, it was a 5- to 15-year-old show. Although, we targeted 15 to, sort of, 18. Because you targeted that age group, the young crew watch anyway.
But our biggest audience was 16 to 39. That was our biggest audience watching because even though it was a kids' show, we were doing things that you would kind of want to know anyway. So, like, it was a kids' show, but there was an older audience watching.
I had one kid write in. He goes, you know, I have-- my dream car is a Lamborghini Gallardo Nera. And they're like, hey, do you want to drive a $450,000 car today? I'm like, yeah.
I remember driving to that shoot, even, and just going, this is ridiculous. Even if I had the money, like, there's no way I'd spend this much on a car. I got in it, drove it, and I went, if I was rich, this is the first thing I'd buy. [LAUGHS]
The number one question was this. Who does Nitro's hair? It was the number one question we'd always get. This is my natural hair. This is how it grows.
Shave it, this is how it grows. I don't touch it. I don't twist it. I don't do a thing.
My birth mom's a redheaded Irish lady. My birth dad's Nigerian, as black as the ace of spades. So I'm kind of the Paddle Pop [LAUGHS] incline in the middle. So I've just--
I actually haven't-- here's a fun fact. I haven't cut my hair since the show. And when my hair was this long, the boss is all, who does your hair? We have to keep it up. Like, because continuity is important.
And I go, oh, it grows like that. No one believed me, until, like, a couple of years in. And they're like, I can't believe your hair grows like that. I'm like, yeah, right?
Second thing was, why does Nitro wear so much spray tan? [LAUGHS] I'm like, I'm half African. Imagine that!
A lot of people were asking, as well, you know, does Curio really like-- like, asking if we really like the things. Mine was easy because I've always loved sports. And I got to pretty much just be myself, just embellished, really.
Honestly, it was easy because it was-- we were ready to go our separate ways. We got-- we did so much more than we thought we were ever gonna do. It was kind of-- to be honest, I was living in Brisbane. The show ended.
I packed my car, the next day, and I drove to Sydney. I haven't been back. There was probably a year before it ended that it needed to end. And so it was almost like we were, kind of, pretty ready to all go and just do our own thing.
So I work in the hair industry now. And I know it's bizarre that you've got a guy with dreadies that sells hair care. But I don't know. The world's a funny way.
So my job is basically traveling around the country, talking to people, and then growing, like, different salons through their sales channels. So there's that. And then my wife and I started this flower business and just-- it just took off. So it's been a weird thing, from going from surfing, to TV, to selling shampoo and flowers. Like, my [LAUGHS] life's just kind of going in a weird-- so, yeah.
We always get these people say, bring back "The Shak." That format works really well. The format's, like, phenomena.
Looking at it, going, if I was to go back and do anything TV, I would go and do that same format, keep it a bit older, and do just things that people want to know. I'd definitely be down for that, so if you guys are out there watching, you want to hang out, let's do it. All right?