Aussies go nu­clear

Daisy Betts, one of three lo­cals in naval ac­tion se­ries Last Re­sort, shows Aus­tralia is still wow­ing Hol­ly­wood, writes Colin Vick­ery

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ANY­ONE who needs con­vinc­ing that Aus­tralian ac­tors are the flavour of the month, year or decade in Hol­ly­wood need only look at Last Re­sort.

The US ac­tion TV se­ries features three Aussies in its cast: Daisy Betts, Daniel Liss­ing and Dichen Lach­man.

Bet­ter still, Betts, who re­cently an­nounced she was preg­nant, has the star­ring fe­male role — as sub­ma­rine nav­i­ga­tor Lieu­tenant Grace Shep­ard. It is a part that would make any fe­male A-list star green with envy.

Betts made her mark in Aus­tralia with a re­cur­ring role in Sea Pa­trol and a star­ring part in Out of the Blue.

The 31-year-old also racked up fea­ture roles in All Saints and East West 101.

Tak­ing a chance in the US paid im­me­di­ate div­i­dends. In 2010, Betts scored the lead fe­male role, Janet Cooper, in Per­sons Un­known. The mys­tery-drama se­ries cen­tred on seven strangers stuck in a de­serted town.

In 2011, she played op­po­site Kathy Bates in three episodes of Harry’s Law, from pro­ducer David E. Kel­ley ( Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal).

Last Re­sort has thrust Betts into the big league.

‘‘ Last Re­sort was the most im­pres­sive pi­lot script (I read) but I was a bit ner­vous about the mil­i­tary drama as­pect of it,’’ Betts says.

‘‘( My con­cern was) be­ing the to­ken fe­male and not hav­ing enough of the strong, in­tel­li­gent work that I wanted.

was the most im­pres­sive pi­lot script (I read)

‘‘ Shawn Ryan (cre­ator) got on the phone to my agent to con­vince me that wasn’t the case at all.’’

Betts needn’t have wor­ried. Grace Shep­ard more than holds her own against Last Re­sort’s other key characters, Cap­tain Mar­cus Chap­lin (An­dre Braugher) and XO Sam Ken­dal (Scott Speed­man).

Last Re­sort be­gins deep be­neath the ocean’s sur­face. The crew of the Ohio-class bal­lis­tic mis­sile sub­ma­rine Colorado re­ceive an or­der to fire nu­clear weapons at a for­eign coun­try.

The or­der is re­ceived over a com­mu­ni­ca­tions chan­nel that is to be used only if the US main­land has been wiped out. Gritty: An­dre Braugher and Scott Speed­man (top), and (above) Daniel Liss­ing and Daisy Betts in

That makes Cap­tain Chap­lin sus­pi­cious. When he re­quests con­fir­ma­tion of his or­ders to fire the mis­siles, he is re­lieved of his du­ties.

The Colorado is then at­tacked and the cap­tain and all crew, in­clud­ing Shep­ard, are de­clared rogue en­e­mies.

Chap­lin re­treats to an is­land base, Sainte Ma­rina, and de­cides to use the sub­ma­rine’s nu­clear weapons as a bar­gain­ing tool — against his own coun­try.

Last Re­sort, helmed by Casino Royale di­rec­tor Martin Camp­bell, is Bat­tle­ship meets Lost.

‘‘ Cap­tain Chap­lin tries to be the mo­ral com­pass but, as the se­ries pro­gresses, view­ers re­alise he doesn’t have all the an­swers,’’ Betts says.

‘‘ Grace re­alises that too. She is a long-time fam­ily friend of the cap­tain. She would nor­mally fol­low him wher­ever he goes, but in this height­ened sce­nario no­body is really sure about the right thing to do.’’

Grace, who is among the first wave of fe­male of­fi­cers to serve on US sub­marines, has an added com­pli­ca­tion. Her fa­ther is pow­er­ful Ad­mi­ral Arthur Shep­ard.

‘‘ Grace has al­ways fol­lowed the rules and done a lot of things in her life to make her ad­mi­ral fa­ther proud — and now she has a chance to work out what she stands for,’’ Betts says.

‘‘ Ev­ery ob­sta­cle she’s faced with makes her stronger. She be­comes a re­spected leader of the crew.’’ Last Re­sort, Chan­nel 7. Tonight, 8.45pm LO­CAL DUO MAKE WAVES AND GRAD­U­ATE TO SET OF LAST RE­SORT. DICHEN Lach­man, who played Katya Kin­ski in Neigh­bours from 2005 to 2007, has rung up a string of US TV and movie cred­its in re­cent years. The 30-year-old, of Ti­betan/Ger­man her­itage, starred in cult hits Doll­house and Be­ing Hu­man. She has also ap­peared in Hawaii FiveO, Torch­wood and NCIS. Daniel Liss­ing, who re­cently ap­peared as Con­rad De Groot in le­gal drama Crown­ies, is new to this Hol­ly­wood ca­per. The Aussie scored the role of Navy SEAL of­fi­cer James King from an in­ter­net au­di­tion. ‘‘I’m the luck­i­est guy on the planet,’’ Liss­ing says. ‘‘I got a script and char­ac­ter brief, went to my liv­ing room, pressed ‘play’ onmy video cam­era and did a tape. ‘‘The next thing I know I’m on a plane to Hawaii.’’

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