A pun­ish­ing role

Telling ac­tors to ‘‘break a leg’’ is meant to be good luck — but break­ing a leg was se­ri­ously bad luck for Rush cop Ni­cole Da Silva, writes Colin Vick­ery

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

ANY­ONE who reck­ons the ac­tion se­quences in Rush aren’t fair dinkum had bet­ter have a chat with Ni­cole Da Silva.

The 29-year-old ac­tor, who plays Sen-Con­sta­ble Stella Dagostino, broke her leg in a stunt-gone-wrong on the Mel­bourne-made crime show in Septem­ber.

Rush cen­tres on the gungho mem­bers of a po­lice Tac­ti­cal Re­sponse Unit in­clud­ing Law­son Blake ( Rodger Corser), Bren­dan Joshua ( Cal­lan Mul­vey) and Kerry Vin­cent ( Cather­ine McCle­ments) as well as Da Silva’s young Dagostino.

It’s a se­ries full of chase and fight scenes that usu­ally go to plan. Not this time.

Da Silva was meant to tackle a crim to the ground. In­stead, she was the one who hit the deck writhing in pain.

‘‘ The an­noy­ing thing is that in terms of Rush ac­tion se­quences, it was so straight­for­ward,’’ Da Silva says.

‘‘ There was a group of 12 big burly blokes. I was meant to come in, stop the fight, a bit of push and shove, tough cop act­ing.

‘‘ It (the ac­ci­dent) was a case of mist­im­ing. I was run­ning into a room around a blind spot and some­one mist­imed a push and this stunt man came fly­ing to­wards me.

‘‘ He took out my knee — hy­per­flexed back­wards, punc­tured the cap­sule, frac­tured the fibula, there were com­pound frac­tures to the fe­mur and fibula, it dis­lo­cated the knee, and tore a small lig­a­ment.

‘‘ I’ve never felt pain like it be­fore and I’ve bro­ken my rib on the show and the week be­fore I split my head open.

‘‘ I think I act so tough (on the show) that peo­ple for­get how lit­tle I am. My leg locked, it was paral­ysed, which was re­ally scary.’’

Da Silva was out of ac­tion for two months and had to un­dergo in­ten­sive rehabilitation. The exit led to some ma­jor Rush script re-writes. She re­turns for this week’s sea­son fi­nale.

Da Silva’s ac­ci­dent isn’t the only cri­sis to hit Rush this year. In Septem­ber, Chan­nel 9 launched its big-bud­get Aussie crime drama, Cops L.A.C, into the 8.30pm Thurs­day time slot.

Cops L.A.C boasted an al­ls­tar cast in­clud­ing Gold Lo­gie win­ner Kate Ritchie, Roy Billing (Un­der­belly: A Tale of Two Cities) and Gary Sweet (Stingers). Its pre­miere episode grabbed 1.168 mil­lion view­ers na­tion­ally and belted Rush (668,000) in the rat­ings.

Slowly the ta­bles turned. By the end of Septem­ber Rush had bounced up to 861,000 view­ers and Cops had slumped to 712,000.

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