Blue Heelers: articles

Vince Colosimo

Hot role… Vince Colosimo starts a three-week stint on Blue Heelers

Vince's in the doghouse

VINCE Colosimo always knew it was his fate.

For actors in Australia there is one extra certainty in life in addition to death and taxes.

“I really did feel like I was one of only a handful of actors here that hadn’t been on Blue Heelers,” he says. “But I knew the time would come.”

And it has. From tonight the actor starts a three-week stint in the police drama, playing a psychologist whose therapy group for victims of sexual abuse becomes the focus of a police investigation when two of its members are murdered by a serial killer.

It is a dark and richly-layered role, and exactly the sort of thing Colosimo had hoped he would get from the series if he bided his time.

“It’s not like I hadn’t been asked to go on the show before—I was approached a couple of times,” he says. “But for one reason or another I didn’t find the characters appealing. And because you know a show like that’s going to go on for a while you always hold yourself back until you go, ‘oh, that’s the character I want to play’.

“I wanted to do Heelers once, and do a great role and this was it. Reading the script I didn’t know what he was going to do, whether he was going to move right or left or what. And those are just interesting things for an actor to play with. That’s what I love about acting.”

After a career of labouring away under various labels—teen heartthrob when as a 13-year-old he won his first acting role in the coming of age film Moving Out, Italian stallion in the Wogs Out Of Work era and then the “next Australian about to make it big in the States” at various times, especially in recent years with guest roles on Without A Trace and The Practice—Colosimo hopes he is finally at a stage where people can just apprec-iate him for what he is doing as an actor rather than having expectations of what he should do.

“It’s insane, it’s insane,” he says.

“I hate the title of new young thing or ‘hot at the moment’ or you know, ‘he’s firing at the moment’. Hot at the moment only means that you’re about to go cold. I’d so much rather just be warm all the time.

“You can’t give a stuff about what people might expect you to do. And I feel like I want to slap any actor who does think about that, who ends up saying, ‘I only do this’ or ‘I always do that’.

“Every job there’s a new challenge for you and as an actor you should be versatile, and it should be about challenge. And as long as the next time we do our work, whether it’s a bloody little tiny commercial or a lead role in a play or a big telemovie or a small role in your film, you have to give it 100 per cent and love doing it, that’s what counts.

“Because whether you love it or you don’t love it, that’ll always shine through. The minute you don’t like doing something it always shows.

“So that’s the priority I have in everything I do, and that’s why I choose what I’ll do. You have to be doing it because you love it because it’s heartbreaking, it’s an incredibly heartbreaking business, because we have to accept rejection more than other people. It’s so, so hard.”

Despite this, Colosimo has tended to avoid long-running roles on television that would give him security. The closest he has ever managed to bring himself to a regular gig was his recurring guest role as Claudia Karvan’s love-interest Rex over two seasons of The Secret Life Of Us.

“I tend to feel I’d be signing my life away,” admits the 38-year-old.

“Though there’s a lot more leeway here compared to a lot of countries.

“Here I’d be complaining about signing for two years, or two seasons and that’s nothing—in a country like America you have to sign for seven years for those sorts of TV shows.

“I’m happiest if I can do a small stint here and a small stint there. If I can make that work, I feel lucky.”

By Eleanor Sprawson
April 13, 2005