INSIDE: Seven days of TV viewing
IT’S a role any true-blue Aussie bloke wants the chance to star in – a boys’-own adventure.
You camp out. Learn to sling a pistol, ride a horse and throw a punch. You grow a beard, blow stuff up with your mates, laugh it up in the pub, sneak around a bit at night, lead a couple of merry chases. And you get the gorgeous girl. When it all gets a bit serious on the wrong side of the law, you disappear like a cloud of smoke and live by your wits.
All you need to do is blur the lines between right and wrong, take the occasional bullet and have the cheekiness to brazen it out.
You’re a bad boy but a charming one. Blokes like you. Women love you.
If you can also manage to convince yourself, and those around you, that one day you’d like to go straight, all the better.
‘‘ What’s not to like?’’ Daniel MacPherson ( pictured) says of his role as knockabout bushranger Jack Keenan on Seven’s unapologetically Australian bushranger drama Wild Boys.
In this rollicking adventure series Jack and his gang pull off their crimes around the small town of Hopetoun, but things heat up when a law enforcer arrives, Francis Fuller ( Jeremy Sims), and suddenly the stakes are deadly.
Complicating things for Keenan is that life on the run can’t mean running too far from Hopetoun since he’s embroiled in a steamy romance with local publican and brothel owner Mary Barrett ( Zoe Ventoura).
MacPherson and Ventoura might be playing possum on their romance off-set, but on-set the chemistry between the pair is obvious.
And for MacPherson, the steamy love scenes are a nice foil to the highly physical efforts needed to pull off life as a bushranger.
MacPherson is no stranger to pushing his body to the limit ( in his spare time he does triathlons and has completed an Hawaiian Iron Man challenge), but laughingly admits he discovered muscles he never knew he had during six months shooting the show.
‘‘ We started out with a couple of weeks learning to ride and look like we actually belonged on a horse learning to load and sling a gun and boxing,’’ MacPherson laughs.
‘‘ I went to physio after a few weeks, I couldn’t walk. I was learning to ride a horse, trying to train for a triathlon and I learnt pretty much after the first week of shooting that I’d better get used to being pretty sore and pretty beat up and pretty cut up pretty quickly.’’
But the adrenalin rush more than cancelled out the knocks.
‘‘ I learnt to drive and gallop a coach with four horses, you see that in the first episode and that was awesome,’’ he says.
However, life as an outlaw starts to lose appeal for Jack as Supt Fuller rolls into town.
‘‘ He thinks he could settle down. But for anyone that looks at him, including Mary and Dan ( played by Michael Dorman), they don’t see it in him,’’ MacPherson says.
‘‘ He’s trying to convince himself and everyone else that he can do it, but he’s kind of lying through his teeth.
‘‘ As Dan says to him: ‘ What would you do? Would you farm? Would you prospect? Would you open a shop? You’d shoot the third customer that comes in’.
‘‘ It’s a great line and pretty much sums Jack up . . . he’s selfish, hot-headed, impulsive, pig-headed and loveable. I love playing that.’’