Aussie TV viewers would have had one of those “I know that face” moments when they watched Winners & Losers in the past fortnight.
Rupert Reid, best known as Declan on Heartbreak High and Constable Jack Lawson on Blue Heelers, has a guest role on the Channel 7 drama. Reid plays school co-ordinator and physical education teacher Robert Hill, whose life intertwines with Sam MacKenzie (Katherine Hicks) and Jenny Gross (Melissa Bergland).
It seems like you dropped off the map. What have you been up to? That is a good question. I went to Los Angeles for about five years and spent time over there trying to break through into the film and television industry. I did a few odd jobs and a lot of work on my craft as well as a continual onslaught of auditions. I got a couple of things. One was a guest role on NCIS. But then I decided I was ready to come home.
What was the hardest thing about trying to break into the American market? There is a lot of love in that town (LA). There is a lot of really amazing and incredibly talented people. If that love could only translate to work, it would be the ideal place.
How long have you been back in Australia? I got back in 2013 and worked on the pilot of a Channel 7 show called Hartman’s Solution which had Erik Thomson as the lead. Unfortunately that didn’t go to series.
What’s your take on Robert Hill? He’s an ex-military guy who has a quiet, yet strong view of the world and what is right and wrong. He’s not as expressive or spontaneous as some of the other characters on the show. He comes across as ‘proper’. That was my take on him when I read the script. I liked the subtle comedy of someone who takes himself a bit too seriously.
The first date between Robert and Sam certainly went horribly wrong. I think Rob ultimately has a good heart. He is looking for a partner — a wife, eventually. He pursues that through online dating. There are the inevitable pitfalls.
Your scenes with Katherine run the gamut of emotions. What was it like working opposite her? Katherine is a brilliant actor. She is so fast and funny. It made it really easy for me. In intimate scenes, you have to have an element of trust and calm with whoever you’re working with. She gets a twinkle in her eye where you know you’re in good hands.
Has working on Winners & Losers whetted your appetite for more TV roles? I love Aussie TV. We have such great storytellers, actors, crews, and writers. I’m putting my hat in the ring, absolutely. I would love to direct Australian television, too. WINNERS & LOSERS, CHANNEL 7, TUESDAY, 9PM
Rupert Reid is back on Australian TV in Winners & Losers.