LOCK IT IN EDDIE
When Rodger Corser wanted to know how to play a TV presenter turned public figure, he just had to put Eddie McGuire in the hot seat
Quiz master Eddie McGuire was the unlikely go-to man for actor Rodger Corser when he was cast as the opposition leader in the political drama Party Tricks.
Corser plays media personality David McLeod who is parachuted in as opposition leader to take on Victorian State Premier Kate Ballard, played by Asher Keddie, at an upcoming election.
McLeod’s promotion to opposition leader from outside of parliament has parallels to Campbell Newman’s run for Premier at the 2012 Queensland state election against the ALP’s Anna Bligh. Newman was Brisbane mayor when he resigned to lead the LNP even though he was not a sitting member and could not be involved in any parliamentary debate.
The difference is that McLeod is a former breakfast show host, and not a mayor, and McGuire’s experience in front and behind the camera and as president of Collingwood ticked a lot of boxes. Corser spent a couple of hours quizzing McGuire, who had an ill-fated reign as the boss of the Nine Network, about how the TV personality mixes it with the top end of town.
“You look at Eddie and he’s been on the Melbourne Major Events committee, he’s the president of Collingwood and he’s on boards and his brother is a politician,” says Corser. “It kind of fitted. I asked how he started, how he made the jump from being an on air sports reporter to being in board rooms and conversing with lawyers and people with business degrees.”
Corser’s modus operandi was to background his character for the six-part series, which launches on Monday night, and to get an understanding of the way McLeod thinks and operates.
McGuire seemed the most logical choice and he was also very accessible. Corser sat down with the media megastar when Collingwood played Hawthorn at the MCG earlier this year.
“I needed to make sense, in my mind, about the character and that he is rooted in some kind of truth,” says Corser.
Corser is at pains to say that just because he sought out McGuire over the role, it does not mean McLeod is the
Hot Seat host in disguise. “By no means is it Eddie McGuire,” he says. “It’s more a cross between Eddie, Karl Stefanovic, a little bit of Jeff Kennett and Ray Martin.”
Party Tricks, Channel 10, 8.30pm, Monday.
Party Tricks stars Rodger Corser and Asher Keddie.