DAMON Herriman is the quintessential character actor, immersing himself so completely in a role that you often don’t realise he’s been there until the closing credits.
Herriman, who first made an impression as a six- year- old in the Aussie drama The Sullivans, has since made an impact in Love My Way and the ABC comedy Laid. Little wonder he has now caught the eye of US casting directors.
After being cast in the horror flick House of Wax, he has been winning plaudits for playing rednecks and characters with a streak of evil.
‘‘ It’s funny because I was often cast as the nerdy guy with glasses,’’ he says of the early stages of his career.
His turn as a serial killer in Cold Case was enough to make you sleep with the light on.
He has also had roles in CSI and Breaking Bad, the latter featuring him as a meth addict with a mouthful of broken, rotting teeth.
It’s a list of credits that has led to roles in Clint Eastwood- directed J. Edgar and $ 200 million Johnny Depp movie The Lone Ranger.
‘‘ I’ve been travelling to Arizona and Mexico to play one of the smaller roles, one of the Cavendish gang,’’ a typically unassuming Herriman says. ‘‘ I’m a bad guy so there’s riding horses and shooting guns. It’s great fun. I can pull a gun out of a holster and do a fancy twirl. It’s great being part of such a massive production.’’
As much as he’s thrilled to be building an impressive career in the US, Herriman is equally excited to be working on Australian productions.
He jumped when friend, actor- director Abe Forsyth, asked him to audition for Laid, a series about a woman who suffers an extraordinary curse – men she has slept with are systematically dying.
‘‘ It seemed a long shot that I would get the role because originally the character was meant to be obese,’’ Herriman says. ‘‘ I uglied myself up for the audition, which was much easier than I would have liked, and they gave me the role.’’