Taking a punt on acting
CLINT Bizzell’s character on Neighbours, footballer Adam Clarke, sounds like he has been ripped from newspaper headlines.
The character notes say Clarke ‘‘is prodigiously talented, charismatic, women adore him, men want to be him, he throws legendary parties, earns big bucks and spends it on women, booze and things worse than booze’’. Sound familiar? Bizzell was at first reluctant to play Clarke because the former Geelong and Melbourne player saw acting as his ticket to make a name for himself away from the sport. But once he learnt more details of the Clarke storyline, Bizzell signed on.
‘‘There’s a whole lot more to him than just playing footy — I think this is the kind of guy you would find in any workplace,’’ Bizzell says.
‘‘Wherever you go I’m sure there are guys who have that confidence bordering on arrogance. The only difference is that football is always in the spotlight so they’re easy targets. Sometimes it’s a little unfair.’’
Bizzell played 75 games for Geelong and 88 games for Melbourne during his 12-year career (he retired at the end of the 2007 season). For six of those years he took acting lessons and appeared in an episode of City Homicide before landing the five-week stint on Neighbours.
This is a guy who planned for life after football. His priorities are acting and family— he is engaged to TV presenter Jennifer Adams and they have a baby daughter, Charli.
‘‘I take acting seriously — it’s not a gimmick,’’ he says.
‘‘As soon as footy finished, that was definitely the road I knew I was going to take. It’s something I’ll pursue for the rest of my life.
‘‘I’ve always had a passion for acting, as far back as schooldays.’’
Bizzell says he became nervous in the lead-up to filming Neighbours. After all, the show has a 20-year pedigree and is renowned for its fast pace of shooting.
‘‘It was terrifying at the start. It was only my second job and City Homicide was only half a day. I tried to relax and by the time I finished it was quite a sad farewell. I was just getting the (acting) motor running and would have loved to have continued and developed the role,’’ he says.
Bizzell also works with Adams on the travel documentary series Places We Go.