Back in the GOOD BOOKS
Todd Lasance is being talked about for all the right reasons again, writes Siobhan Duck
IF HE hadn’t made it as an actor, Todd Lasance reckons he would have been a cop. It seems a strange alternative for someone who for two years sent teenage girls’ hearts a flutter as Summer Bay’s resident bad boy on Home and Away.
And then there’s the small matter of his run-in with the law that saw him arrested for possession of cocaine 14 months ago.
But Lasance says headlines and type-casting aside, he’s a ‘‘ squeaky-clean’’ and focused guy who counts his family as his closest confidants.
He says his role on Channel 9’s Underbelly telemovie, Tell Them Lucifer Was Here— as a detective investigating the 1998 shootings of Gary Silk and Rodney Miller — has given him a chance to explore his fantasy career path in the force ‘‘ without the danger’’.
He took the role seriously — wanting to do justice to the emotions and procedure of crime investigation — especially given it is based on a real crime and would be watched by many Victorian police with first-hand experience of the harrowing event.
Lasance also hopes his Underbelly role will give viewers a chance to see him in a new light — as more than a soap actor who once got into trouble.
He knew, when he took a role on Home and Away, it would potentially be a doubleedged sword.
‘‘ I knew the fact that I had done Home and Away would always be referenced, no matter what I ended up doing,’’ he says.
‘‘ I also knew that because of the show’s popularity there would be notoriety that comes with it.
‘‘ You kind of expect it (fame) will happen to some degree. It’s part of the job. But if you don’t want people to come up to you, you just don’t put yourself in situations that would make you a target.
‘‘ For instance, I would avoid Justin Bieber concerts.’’
Although he is grateful for the experience and exposure Home and Away has given him, Lasance is keen to prove his versatility.
He hopes his new roles — in Foxtel drama Cloudstreet, ABC legal series Crownies, Rescue Special Ops and Underbelly, will show people what he is capable of and potentially launch his career overseas.
He also hopes that owning up to his past will allow him to put it behind him.
‘‘ I don’t want one mistake to define me,’’ he says of being arrested during a police raid on a Kings Cross nightclub.
Lasance won an appeal against a 12-month good behaviour bond for possessing cocaine.
‘‘ The funny thing is I am actually pretty squeaky clean. I never even got so much as a bad school report card.
‘‘ It was one stupid lapse. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has them make the front page of the newspaper.
‘‘ I do understand that because of the show I was on — which has a younger audience — that I was meant to be a role model. I had a responsibility and I don’t want to disappoint people. I just want to put it behind me and show them there’s more to me than that one mistake.’’
Before landing the role on Home and Away, Newcastleborn Lasance had minimal acting experience, spending most of his time on sports grounds and athletics tracks rather than the stage.
He says a brief stint with a youth theatre group in Newcastle changed his focus from sports to acting once he had finished Year 12.
‘‘ It was like a fire had been lit inside me,’’ he says.
‘‘ I felt this hunger — this thirst — to do it.
‘‘ I talked to Mum and Dad about getting an agent when I finished school. They were concerned because it can be a difficult industry to break into. But failure was not an option.’’
Lasance’s parents needn’t have worried. It took next to no time for Lasance to land a guest spot on Home and Away. His character was a hit with viewers and soon he found himself with a starring role, a nomination for Bachelor of the Year and a silver Logie for Most Popular Actor.
Now he’s following in the footsteps of some fine Australian actors — Sigrid Thornton, Vince Colosimo, Martin Sacks and Peter Phelps, to name a few — with a starring role in Underbelly.
‘‘ I always wanted to stretch myself as an actor and this role is the complete opposite of Aden (his Home and Away character),’’ he says.
‘‘ It’s such an honour to be part of it. There’s nothing else like it— it’s one of the grittiest shows on Australian TV.’’ Underbelly: Tell Them Lucifer Was Here, Channel 9, Monday, 8.30pm