Tak­ing a punt on act­ing

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page - COLIN VICK­ERY

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.

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