Blue Heelers: articles

Charlie Clausen

Charlie Clausen as Sen-Constable Alex Kirby: "It was like being a kid again, running around with a gun, hunting a lion."

Joker joins the Mt Thomas pack

Charlie Clausen is a city boy at heart but the country keeps calling him, writes Erica Thompson.

WHEN Charlie Clausen was posted to the Mt Thomas police station, he knew the job would be dangerous. But he had no idea just how dangerous.

“We did an episode recently where a lion escapes from the Mt Thomas zoo,” says Clausen, who plays Sen-Constable Alex Kirby.

“It was like being a kid again, running around with a gun, hunting a lion.

“In 11 years, this show has had everything but aliens—and that may be next.”

While chasing bad guys (and lions) is fun, Clausen, 27, is not so keen about being a boy in blue.

“I don’t think (the uniform) is all that flattering, contrary to popular belief,” he says.

“The shirt’s all baggy and sweat shows up really easily. But I’m sure my girlfriend would really like me to bring it home.”

The Melbourne-born actor joined Blue Heelers earlier this year in a bid to inject some comic relief into the drama, which was still reeling from Tom Croydon’s (John Wood) reign of doom and gloom.

“My character, initially, was very dry and much more of an observer,” Clausen says, “but by the time I went for the second audition, the casting agent said ‘No, we want him to be a bit more full of life, a bit more exuberant and a bit more of a motor mouth’, which was basically a complete 180.”

And quite a stretch from his last appearance on the show, in which his hand was seen clearing dirt off a coffin.

“That was my first Blue Heelers role,” he laughs. “There was some stuff-up and two of us had been cast as the grave digger.

“When the director arrived, just to stop any arguing, he said you can both play the grave digger, we’ll just take away the dialogue.”

After this brush with fame, Clausen took a break from acting and worked for a multimedia company before returning to the small screen as Becky’s (Jessica Napier) love interest in McLeod’s Daughters.

“I was born and raised in the city. I’ve never really set foot on a farm, yet every (acting) job I’ve ever had I’ve been in a country town or working on a farm,” he laughs.

“I don’t know if there’s something in me which is inherently rural.”

But Clausen, who has a media arts degree, says he never worries too much about what his next role will be.

“I have other areas I can move into. I do love acting but I also love writing. All I want to do is make movies and if I get there as an actor or writer or director, I don’t care.”

Blue Heelers, Seven,June 22, double episode, 8.30pm

By Erica Thompson
June 09, 2005
The Courier Mail