City Homicide: articles

Daniel MacPherson and Nadine Garner

Daniel MacPherson gets with the force

WHEN Daniel MacPherson agreed to join Neighbours 10 years ago, he had just one goal.

"All I wanted out of it was an EH Holden station wagon and then I thought I'd move back to Sydney and go to uni," MacPherson says.

Fast forward a decade -- following his heartthrob-turn on Ramsay St coupled with time as an antipodean bobby on The Bill, hosting duties for X Factor and last year's ambitious drama Tripping Over -- and it is obvious MacPherson has become one of Australia's most in-demand performers.

Returning to policing in his latest venture, Seven's new crime series City Homicide, he admits he has grown up since he last lived in Melbourne and enjoyed the many opportunities his Neighbours alter ego Joel Samuels afforded him.

"I started Neighbours as a pretty fit fella and four years later I wasn't," MacPherson says.

"I was spending more time in nightclubs than I was in swimming pools. I think that period of my life is done.

"Don't get me wrong -- I love a beer as much as the next bloke, but the parties and the extra-curricular stuff that comes with being on TV doesn't hold much interest for me any more.

"I made a decision about five years ago that I didn't want to be a celebrity -- I wanted to be an actor."

It is a cute line and could easily be viewed as the kind of neat throwaway actors are famed for. But with MacPherson it comes with a sense of sincerity.

On the set of City Homicide -- a series bursting with local acting talent, including Shane Bourne, Nadine Garner, Aaron Pederson and a slew of solid guests -- MacPherson's enthusiasm for what he describes as a "daring" project is obvious.

"What audiences will find with this series is that the storylines and crimes we're dealing with are quite confronting," he says.

"You also get to see how these characters deal with that personally, and I find that one of the intriguing points of the show.

"It's intelligent and a little dark but definitely classy . . . it's something we don't do enough of in this country.

"It's sad to say it, but perhaps it's a risk, you know, doing a high-end drama. Time will tell."

In City Homicide, MacPherson plays Simon Joyner, an immature detective who appears clearly dishevelled against the actor's own fashionable front.

"Simon's still surrounded by beer bottles, pizza boxes and unironed shirts," MacPherson says.

"He's the kind of fella who watches the footy when he gets home.

"I understand where he's at, but it's a different place to where I am now."

MacPherson is happy to be back in Melbourne, describing it as "a bit of a homecoming".

He admits that Los Angeles still beckons, but says that city can wait for a couple of years.

But he is heading overseas before then, to indulge his other passion -- triathlon.

"I'll look to race another one over summer to try to qualify for Hawaii next year," he says. "Training just brings a great balance to my daily job."

And what of the EH Holden he once dreamt of?

"Mate, I never did buy it. One day though… "

By Richard Clune
August 27, 2007
Herald Sun