Nathan Page

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - ANNA BRAIN TV WRITER

Fans of Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mys­ter­ies have waited a long time to see if sleuth Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) and De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Jack Robin­son will fi­nally get to­gether. As sea­son three draws to a close, Nathan Page, a for­mer cham­pion cy­clist, re­flects on his break­out role.

Does Jack have the worst ro­man­tic tim­ing ever? Pos­si­bly. Or maybe it’s not him. It seems cir­cum­stances, or usu­ally rel­a­tives, are in­volved in sab­o­tag­ing him. Fam­ily. It may be true to life.

Jack is so re­served and quiet. Do you think Aussie blokes re­late? I hadn’t con­sid­ered him to be a stereo­typ­i­cal male. I think it’s nice to have him played on the back foot with a lot of re­straint. You don’t of­ten get those op­por­tu­ni­ties in Aus­tralian TV. So many char­ac­ters show their hand straight away. I’ve never been par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in do­ing that style.

Do you con­sider this to be your break­out role? Def­i­nitely. Pre­vi­ously I just had bit parts, and I didn’t know how to do tele­vi­sion. It’s another world to theatre. The won­der­ful thing about a role like this, as a se­ries reg­u­lar and one of the leads, is that you get to prac­tise your craft con­stantly. And you get to ex­pe­ri­ence some of the most in­cred­i­ble ac­tors do­ing guest roles; Billy Brown, Miriam Mar­golyes. If you can’t re­lax, that’s a good thing. In that re­gard it’s been a huge step for me.

What sort of fan feed­back do you get about Jack? It’s fan­tas­tic. There’s a Face­book page that a fan has made called The DI Jack Ap­pre­ci­a­tion So­ci­ety. ety. I just love that some­one’s gone, ‘well, it’s not there, so I’m go­ing to cre­ate it’. Not only are they hav­ing dis­cus­sions about the char­ac­ter, they y bring in other el­e­ments, ments, like I played an­oth­erh char­ac­ter re­cently in Hid­ing, this bru­tal and con­flicted char­ac­ter. On this Face­book page, they were up in arms, go­ing, ‘How could he?’

And au­di­ences are lap­ping it up over­seas ... Yeah, it’s huge. You’ve got peo­ple in the US tear­ing their hair out to see sea­son three.

Be­ing an elite ath­lete (Page was a cham­pion cy­clist for Aus­tralia as a teenager) re­quires a huge drive. Is this some­thing that’s helped you in act­ing? It’s such a seem­ingly ran­dom thing with work. Some of the self tapes I’ve put down and sent away to the US, I’ve thought, ‘this is amaz­ing, how could you not go for me?’ and then you hear noth­ing. So more than any­thing, rather than be­ing com­pet­i­tive, it’s the abil­ity to cop it, take it and get back up each time.

Can we look for­ward to see­ing more of Phryne and Jack? I hope so. I’m not a pain­ter, I don’t draw, so I start driv­ing peo­ple nuts be­cause I have to get back and work.

MISS FISHER’S MUR­DER MYS­TER­IES, ABC, FRI­DAY, 8.30PM

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