THE BIG ASK DAVID FIELD
Ghosts of the Civil Dead
Two Hands, Chopper Gettin’ Square, for which he received an AFI nomination in 2003.
In 2001, he received a Best Actor AFI for his role in the telemovie My Husband, My Killer and has starred alongside Colin Friels in the Blackjack telemovies.
TV viewers will see more of Jarvis over coming months when he temporarily replaces Det Supt Bernice Waverley (Noni Hazlehurst) as head of the City Homicide team. BOLD, brash, old-school, manipulative and sly— these are just some of the (mainly unflattering) adjectives ascribed to City Homicide’s Det Supt Terry Jarvis.
As all actors know, you have the best fun playing a baddie so David Field, who plays Jarvis, is having a ball on Channel 7’s Melbourne-made crime drama.
Field won raves for his debut in the movie and shone in and Terry Jarvis is a piece of work. Do you enjoy playing him? I’ve had a ball. You don’t really know what he’s going to do and that’s interesting. His character can come in and cause trouble. I gather he takes a more prominent role in the new series. Jarvis is pushed from the drug squad into homicide and he’s not particularly happy about it. He doesn’t have a great deal of faith in the crew. He thinks they’re a bit raw and that they don’t play outside the square enough. They play a little too much by the rules.
That comes from Shane’s (Bourne) character (Det-Sen-Sgt Stanley Wolfe). Jarvis thinks he’s too sweet and could probably use the telephone book a bit more often. Because Jarvis is old-school, he reckons homicide need a bit of dirtying up.
He’s quite happy to be there to put a bunger up them. Noni Hazlehurst is quite a formidable actor. What’s it like working opposite her? I’ve known Noni for a couple of football seasons— and Shane and Aaron (Pedersen) and Nadine (Garner). Yes, Noni is formidable but I’m happy to go in there boxing with her. We have respect for each other and there’s a lot of room to move (as an actor) with Noni because she’s such a good actor. Shane Bourne’s career has been interesting— going from people thinking he’s just a comedian to one of our most respected dramatic actors. I have great respect for Shane. People in this business can get cynical and sarcastic about someone like Shane but he was out doing his stuff in clubs when there was no work about as a stand-up comic. He’s gone through the tough times and he’s the sort of pro who comes out the other side winning. I tip my hat to that. A lot of film actors look down at TV work. What are your thoughts? Television has really picked up its game in the past 10 years. People such as (Seven’s head of drama) John Holmes are great pros— they know their stuff. You’ve done quite a lot of directing in the theatre (including Dealer’s Choice and Who’sAfraidofVirginia Woolf). Would you be interested in directing episodes of City Homicide? I’d direct anything. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve actually just finished directing a feature film, The Combination, which is opening around March. It’s a Lebanese/Australian film set in the western suburbs of Sydney. About 70 per cent of the kids in it are off the street and they’re absolutely amazing. They’re a heck of a lot better than some of the (professional) actors I’ve worked with.