THE LAST WORD... ‘ Even­tu­ally my mo­ment in the sun will ring­ing ’ fade and the phone will stop


The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - THE LAST WORD... -

“I took the role of Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Frank Car­lyle on The Doc­tor Blake Mys­ter­ies be­cause it is a re­ally well made drama and I hadn’t re­ally worked in the mur­dermys­tery genre be­fore. It was all very new. It was a sur­prise to me just how pop­u­lar the show is. I had seen Doc­tor Blake be­fore but I wasn’t aware how good its rat­ings are. They’re knock­ing it out of the park. They’ve got a re­ally loyal fan base. I’ve played cop­pers be­fore but in the late 1950s and early ’60s Aus­tralia was a very dif­fer­ent and more con­ser­va­tive place. It was in­ter­est­ing to ex­plore that. I hadn’t worked with Craig McLach­lan be­fore. He is a lot of fun on set. He has prob­a­bly the great­est work­load I’ve seen of any ac­tor in a TV show. Even when I’ve worked with Asher

(Ked­die) be­fore on Party Tricks we got days off. But Craig is lucky to get a scene off. He gets lots of di­a­logue – those great speeches he does to wrap up cases at the end of each episode. They are some­times two or three pages long. But he comes to work with it all there. He has got an in­cred­i­ble en­ergy on set. He keeps the crew go­ing and creates an en­joy­able at­mos­phere.

They have had a few chief su­per­in­ten­dents on the show and they were look­ing to bring a dif­fer­ent en­ergy this time. Car­lyle’s pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ship with Lu­cien Blake is dif­fer­ent from what we’ve seen be­fore. Car­lyle is a bit less es­tab­lish­ment. His at­ti­tude is “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. He knows that Blake sticks his nose in (to mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tions) but he gets re­sults. So he is quite happy for that to con­tinue. Craig and I mucked around a lit­tle bit be­cause th­ese guys are friendly. Frank is a wid­ower which he has in com­mon with Lu­cien. They have both served (in the mil­i­tary dur­ing World War II). The war is still fresh in their mem­o­ries and af­fects their lives. It creates ca­ma­raderie.

My fam­ily (wife Re­nae, chil­dren Budd, Cilla and Dil­lon plus teenage daugh­ter Zipporah from an ear­lier re­la­tion­ship with singer Chris­tine Anu) is al­ways a pri­or­ity. You bal­ance your ca­reer de­ci­sions around that. I’m too old and have too many re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. LA is al­ways in the mix. If I get a role we can go over there. I have an agent and a man­ager and I’m al­ways in the loop. I think the thing about that is just to build a great body of work here so they can’t ig­nore you any­more.

I’ve been re­ally lucky with the amount of dif­fer­ent roles and reg­u­lar work over the past four or five years (in­clud­ing Party Tricks, The Beau­ti­ful Lie and Glitch). I’ll ride that wave un­til it fin­ishes. I re­alise that even­tu­ally my mo­ment in the sun will fade and the phone will stop ring­ing to be on cam­era as much. The idea is to still be in­volved in the in­dus­try. I’m be­gin­ning to write a lit­tle bit – to get some of my ideas and bring them to the screen (as a pro­ducer).”

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