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
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.