RICHARD ROXBURGH

AL­READY THE THESP’S THESP, ROXBURGH’S WORK IN RAKE MIGHT WELL BE HIS MOST SHIN­ING LEGACY. NOT TO MEN­TION A VI­CIOUS TAKE­DOWN OF THE AUSSIE ES­TAB­LISH­MENT.

GQ (Australia) - - GQ INC. -

The fi­nal episode of sea­son four of the ABC’S won­der­ful par­ody of Aus­tralian le­gal and po­lit­i­cal life, Rake, presents a bril­liant mo­ment of art im­i­tat­ing life. Richard Roxburgh’s lead­ing man, Cleaver Greene, the un­scrupu­lous, mis­an­thropic, con-de­fend­ing, scoundrel-cum-bar­ris­ter has de­cided to go into pol­i­tics (with the fore­most in­tent of ir­ri­tat­ing his politi­cian sis­ter) and runs for Se­nate with a cam­paign aimed at youth called ‘Run­ning for Noth­ing’. The last scene shows the di­shev­elled Greene strolling to­wards cam­era while ad­just­ing his Ray-bans to shield his fa­mil­iarly hun­gover eyes. The cam­era pans up to re­veal Aus­tralian Parliament House. De­spite his dis­be­lief, he’s made it. At any other time, the scene would have been a stretch too far, im­plau­si­ble, if it wasn’t so close to the sce­nario that saw a ver­i­ta­ble rat-bag of play­ers run­ning in this year’s Fed­eral elec­tion, af­ter the se­ries had aired. Had the politi­cians been watch­ing? “There’s this beau­ti­ful mo­ment in time,” smiles Roxburgh in ref­er­ence to Aus­tralian pol­i­tics, “where you have Pauline Han­son in there, lib­eral democrats and Chris­tian fam­ily peo­ple. And, Nick Xenophon is the voice of rea­son in this mad camp. “Ob­vi­ously, the re­al­ity of what played out was out of our hands, but the par­al­lels and tim­ing were great. I live-tweeted as Cleaver as peo­ple went into polling booths. And peo­ple were In­sta­gram­ing pic­tures of their se­nate slips with an ex­tra box for Cleaver.” Rake has been praised by crit­ics and au­di­ences since its 2010 de­but – rightly ap­plauded for seam­lessly toss­ing be­tween farce, drama and what is fast be­com­ing a com­men­tary on re­al­ity. And it suc­ceeds due to the tal­ents of GQ’S Act­ing Leg­end Richard Roxburgh, who so cun­ningly keeps all balls in the air and whose in­volve­ment in the se­ries extends to co-creator and pro­ducer. Af­ter a ca­reer in the­atre, play­ing high-pro­file Aussies in tele­movies (he re­turns next year as Roger Roger­son in the se­quel to 1995’s Blue Mur­der) and scene-steal­ing roles in block­busters, it’s plain to see Roxburgh has found as much, if not more, joy in Rake. “It’s com­pletely true, I mean, that job has a lot of joy in it,” he says. “It’s hard work. Each time we’ve done it, it’s gone bet­ter. But the price of that is higher, be­cause you think, ‘Oh God, to­mor­row I have to come up with ideas and bring more to the ta­ble.’ So there’s more weight on your shoul­ders. But it works. We love it and we love one an­other as a cre­ative or­gan­ism. It’s ideal.”

ACT­ING LEG­END

Wool tuxedo jacket (part of a suit), $4200, and cot­ton dress shirt, $720, both by Gior­gio Ar­mani at David Jones; cot­ton ‘Luca’ bow tie, $165, by La Noeud Papil­lon; cot­ton boxer shorts, $65, by Sun­spel; glasses, Richard’s own; silk pocket square, $29.50, by As­cot at Henry Bucks. Groom­ing: Gavin Anes­bury.

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