A former Havelock North actor remains tight-lipped about a lead role he has landed alongside a Hollywood star.

Cameron Jones quickly shot to fame after becoming a household name for his role as heart-throb ambulance officer, Dallas Adams, in Shortland Street.

Jones is still bound by showbiz confidentiality and could not reveal any details of the role except to say he got to wear cowboy boots, the hat, and speak in a southern accent.

Currently living in Los Angeles, but shooting in America's rural heartland, Jones said: "Funny how I left Hawke's Bay to go half way around the world to pursue this dream and ended up back in a rural area."


He said his success still didn't feel real, "I'm just having the best time of my life right now and I feel like it's only going to get better from here".

The 25-year-old caught the bug for acting when he began winning drama awards while attending Havelock North High School.

He studied a Bachelor of Arts in Acting at Toi Whakaari, spending a semester at Stella Adler Academy of Drama in Hollywood before graduating in 2012.

Already, he has racked up several big-time roles including starring in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, television series Passion in Paradise and Nancy Wake - A Love Story.

But it was where he was in his career now that was the most challenging, both professionally and personally, he said.

The actor has had to keep his spirits high after his father died in November. This was coupled with a year-and-a-half of audition denials.

"It's been nothing but hard work and persistence, I don't know if I believe in luck," he said.

Jones' had to get an actor's visa when he went to America, which meant he was not allowed to work in any other workforce.

If he did, it would be viewed as taking a potential job from an American citizen.

With a string of audition set-backs, he'd had to dip into his savings for his day-to-day basics.

His mother, Sue Pitts, who lives in Havelock North, was fizzing about her son's success after saying her son's year had been tough.

Ms Pitts visited her son in May and he took her to many of his favourite locations, including the best surf spots - his escape from the concrete jungle.

She had returned home when he learned he had landed the role, "when he called he was so happy he cried".

"I am so proud of him, this is his big break, I believe."

Having worked at their family hotel throughout school, Ms Pitts said her son had worked hard to hone his skills by learning to play the guitar and riding horses to help him on the job front.

Jones said it still didn't feel real, "each time I walk on set and work with such incredible talent".