Law unto him­self

Why Richard Roxburgh res­ur­rected Rake

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

WHEN we left Cleaver Green at the end of sea­son three, he was dan­gling from a hot-air bal­loon with his best mate inside, their fate un­cer­tain, float­ing into the dis­tance. And as far as the Rake team were con­cerned, that was the per­fect place to leave them.

“We thought it was a beau­ti­ful end­ing and if we came back for a sea­son four we’d have to have a bet­ter idea – and none of us did,” says Richard Roxburgh who, in ad­di­tion to play­ing the dis­so­lute bar­ris­ter, is cocre­ator of the se­ries.

With all of the char­ac­ters hav­ing achieved res­o­lu­tion in some form, there was a re­luc­tance to mess with what many fans saw as per­fec­tion.

But then, al­most a year on, Roxburgh woke up with a brain­wave. And the rest, as they say, is his­tory.

Sum­mon­ing the troops over lunch, he ex­plained a be­gin­ning and an end for a po­ten­tial fourth sea­son.

“It was re­ally ba­sic – and prob­a­bly for the writ­ers a re­ally an­noy­ing – tra­jec­tory with no dots joined at all,” he grins.

“I said, ‘Imag­ine how great that could be?’ and they were like, ‘Great, well why don’t you f---ing write it then’. But it’s worked out re­ally beau­ti­fully.”

With sev­eral A-list ac­tors join­ing this sea­son, in­clud­ing John Wa­ters as a fright­en­ing face from Cleaver’s past, we can ex­pect to see plenty of great cameos once more. But un­like other sea­sons, Roxburgh says this one will mostly fo­cus on the core co­terie of char­ac­ters we’ve grown to know and love.

That in­cludes fel­low hot-air bal­loon vic­tim Barney (Rus­sell Dyk­stra), his ex-wife Scar­lett (Danielle McCormack), morally up­right pol­lie David “Harry – sorry, David” Pot­ter (Matt Day) and Cleaver’s ex-wife Wendy (Caro­line Bra­zier).

Hav­ing in­hab­ited these com­plex char­ac­ters since 2010, the cast are part of the in­nate suc­cess of the se­ries, Roxburgh says.

“Every­body knows their char­ac­ter and is so set­tled in their skin now that we can kind of re­lax and play with it,” he says.

“There’s quite a lot of im­pro­vi­sa­tion now and a lot more spon­tane­ity, with peo­ple throw­ing in their own stuff. As an ac­tor, it makes your life re­ally in­ter­est­ing be­cause you don’t know what’s com­ing … or what ends up on screen, you’re go­ing to get these golden mo­ments of sur­prise.”

Sur­prise is im­por­tant to Roxburgh. He’s loathe to give spoil­ers other than to say there are “ex­tra­or­di­nary events un­fold­ing in the life and times of our en­sem­ble of play­ers” as well as some “fan­tas­tic com­ings and go­ings”. But he’s happy to an­nounce that, should au­di­ences de­cide they want it, a fifth sea­son is most def­i­nitely on the cards.

“I think even if you slammed a door on Cleaver he’d find a way to come back in,” he laughs.

“He’ll come in through the back door, down a chim­ney, some en­trance, some­where. Look, there might be a strong rea­son to come back at this point – but my lips are sealed.”

RAKE

THURS­DAY, 8.30PM, ABC

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