Above The Law: profiles



Scott Burgess

Scott Burgess

"Bill Peterson," says Scott Burgess, "is a kind of a 60s guy living in the 90s. He's a hard man from the old school and everybody's guardian angel." Hence he has taken care of Pete Murray for over 20 years, doing driving, debt collecting and personal protection. He's not a criminal as such, but he has spent time on the inside as a result of a favour he did the Murray family, and because of that he has a job for life. Basically, Bill has a good soul and is a decent person, but he also has this edge. I'm having a great time exploring his character," Scott said.

As for working on Above The Law, Scott says: "We're all having a really great time, and finding out that its quirky and offbeat, and that suits my personality."

Scott Burgess has enjoyed nearly two decades as a well-known Australian television actor, launching his career with his role as Billy McKenzie in 1981 with 1915. Credits since then include The Cattle King, The Great Bookie Robbery, Dirtwater Dynasty, Willesee's Australians, Tracks of Glory, and Cody. His most recent popular television role has been that of Dave McCall in Water Rats.

Kristy Wright

Kristy Wright

"Belinda Clark is like a deer," says Kristy Wright. "She's vulnerable, and attractive to predators. She started an international modelling career as a young teenager but now at 23 she thinks she's getting a little too old for the catwalk. She's doing casual modelling, trying to break into acting, and doing a lot of waitressing. Basically she's still a nice kid from the Western Suburbs who never really lost her childhood."

Kristy Wright will be best known to Australian television viewers for her long-running role as Chloe in Home and Away. She has also had television roles in The Adventures of Chuck Finn and Police Rescue.

Alyssa-Jane Cook

Alyssa-Jane Cook

"Olivia Murray grew up in what she thought was a normal-ish family in the Eastern suburbs," says Alyssa-Jane Cook of her on-screen counterpart, "but she's just discovered that her father is an underworld criminal so she's dealing with a vortex of emotion at the moment she's walking an emotional tightrope and can be happy one moment but then something happens that brings her right down to a desperate and sad point."

A successful head-hunter, the feline Olivia has reluctantly put her rocketing career on hold while she deals with her father's messy affairs. Her sheltered upbringing has left her unprepared for the decisions she has to now make, and the danger she faces. "Essentially she's lovable," says Alyssa-Jane, "but she's hard to get through to, she's complex, humourous but quite fragile, tough, but also vulnerable. She's independent, honest, and stubborn, and whilst she doesn't have a love in her life, she wants to be loved."

Alyssa-Jane Cook is well remembered for her role as Lisa in Network Ten's E Street. She has also had guest roles in GP, A Country Practice, Time Trax, and Farscape. She was also host of The Brady Bunch Special and Sex/Life, and is a regular guest on Beauty and The Beast. Her theatre credits include The New Rocky Horror Show, Crimes of the Heart, and A Bedful of Foreigners.

Jolyon James

Jolyon James

"A boy in a mansuit!" says Jolyon James of Con Stavros, his character in Above The Law. "In becoming a policeman, Con believes he has convinced the world that he is a man in control. He's got the bike, and he's got the uniform, but unfortunately he also possesses a naivety that, although sometimes endearing, is usually infuriating and often lands him in trouble. He is a genuinely honest character with a lot to learn."

A graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Jolyon James's theatre credits include The Cherry Orchard, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Into The Woods, A Little Night Music, and Les Miserables. Television credits include Blue Heelers, Never Tell Me Never, and Water Rats.

Bridie Carter

Bridie Carter

Debbie Curtis can spot a wanker a mile off," says Bridie Carter of her senior constable character. "She's a country girl, which seems to give her an earthiness and a no-nonsense approach to life, and she's strong, independent, loyal and compassionate, a survivor. She's excellent, and a real gift for me, as an actor, to play."

Since graduating from NIDA in 1994, Bridie Carter has enjoyed constant work in Australian film and television, with television credits including GP, Home and Away, Kangaroo Palace, Simone de Beauvoir's Babies, Water Rats, Murder Call, and All Saints. Film credits include Snowdrop, Fresh Air, and 14 Tales Of Winter.

Nicholas Bishop

Nicholas Bishop

"Matt Bridges is a person who everyone comes to, not only for a gossip, but for a shoulder to lean on, and it's nice to play a character whose outlook is really positive, a genuine Mr Nice Guy," says Nicholas Bishop. "He likes a joke and he doesn't let things get him down, and he has an energy that hopefully effects those around him. I've never played a chef and, interestingly for an actor, I've never even worked in a restaurant, so that's been a challenge."

A 1997 graduate of NIDA, Nicholas Bishop has appeared on television in Wildside, Home and Away, Heartbreak High, Murder Call, and Water Rats. His theatre credits include Othello, Hamlet, and Macbeth, and he will be seen in the soon to be released Australian feature film, My Mother Frank. Other film credits include Occassional Course Language and The Sugar Factory.

Ingrid Ruz

Ingrid Ruz

"Vicki Giovanelli is high energy personified," says Ingrid Ruz of her character. "She grew up in Wollongong dreaming of being a doctor, but when her family's limited resources were channelled into her brother's law training instead, she refocussed and now she's part of a hot paramedic team. She works hard, parties hard, and if she has one big failing, it is her unerring attraction to Mr Wrong."

Also a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Ingrid Ruz was last seen on television in a lead role in the successful ABC series, Queen Kat, Carmel & St Jude, playing Jude Torres. Other television credits include Never Tell Me Never, and State Coroner. She has appeared in a number of short films, and recently had a role in the feature film Mission Impossible 2.

Teo Gebert

Teo Gebert

"Skeez Giovanelli is a big kid at play in a huge city," says Teo Gebert. "He came with his sister Vicki to Sydney from Wollongong to study law and within a year, much to the chagrin of his parents, he dropped out of University to pursue his new love, dance DJ. Intelligent, compassionate, at times wild and kooky, Skeez loves life and wants everyone else to enjoy it as much as he!" Pity he and his sister are like oil and water.

Teo Gebert has studied at the Ensemble Studios and the Australian Theatre for Young People. His theatre credits include Galileo, Blackrock, Waiting Rooms, and Lost in Yonkers. His television credits include The Feds, GP, and Family and Friends, and film credits include Sniper and Terra Nova.

Meme Thorne

Meme Thorne

"Sunny Rodriguez is a feisty, no-nonsense working woman who speaks her mind and treats everyone equally," says Meme Thorne of her character, Pete Murray's housekeeper. "Sunny knows a lot, and observes everything but she keeps silent - except when it matters. Her own past is a mystery, but that slowly unravels, and I look forward to the growing journey that Sunny undertakes."

Meme Thorne has appeared in the Australian feature films Robbery Under Arms and The Plumber, and in the television series Wildside and Murder Call. She has also worked extensively with the Sidetrack theatre company in Sydney.