Dangerous: articles

Brooke Satchwell, Joel Edgerton and Khan Chittenden are the new kids on the block

Dangerous liaisons

Despite sitting in the driving seat of a career beckoning stardom, Khan Chittenden maintains the kind of casual charm and checked ego that many of his contemporaries could well learn from.

With Australia's small screen currently clogged by many a soaped-up starlet loudly employing Paris Hiltonesque demands, Chittenden remains relaxed ahead of a year that will surely see his star rise and glean international attention.

Beginning with his fast and furious romp through the mean streets of Sydney's western suburbs, Chittenden this week steals the spotlight in Foxtel's latest dramatic outing, Dangerous.

While the series - a further attempt by the pay TV network to emulate the success it enjoyed with Love My Way - features current Aussie wunderkind Joel Edgerton and familiar face Brooke Satchwell, Chittenden proves the standout. Couple this with his current appearance alongside British veteran Brenda Blethyn at the Sundance Film festival for their "sexual" feature Clubland and Chittenden could be forgiven for believing his hype. But, thankfully, the young kid from Perth's beaches - who originally aroused attention through his shirtless portrayals as Edge in Blue Water High - remains grounded.

"I just try and ignore all the attention and the fact people are labelling me the next big thing," Chittenden says. "It's all bullshit. Yeah, I'm excited about Sundance but that's because I can't wait to get there and see what it's all about you know, experience something different."

For Dangerous, the "something different" involved filming in an around Sydney's oft notorious (and generally misrepresented) western suburbs. Unfolding into a contemporary Romeo & Juliet tale, with Chittenden's local criminal drawing Satchwell's ministerial advisor into a world of fast cars and ram-raiding, the 23-year-old says shooting the eight-part series proved a lot of fun.

"We shot entirely on location, so that was just great," Chittenden says. "And we got to muck around with some fast cars and just generally have a good time. But that's not to say this is a comedy. Far from it. This is a great look at youth culture through the eyes of criminals not the police."

Chittenden says the locals - most of the series was filmed in an around Punchbowl and Bankstown - were largely accepting of the new drama, which is bound to push a few buttons.

"It is really heavy out there (western Sydney). There's certainly no bullshit or pretension," Chittenden says. While they're the first to let you know what they like and don't like, the locals weren't that bothered about us running around filming in their streets. They thought it was cool we were making something in their backyard that involved fast cars and also liked the fact it focussed on the crims not the cops."

Brooke Satchwell agrees, divulging that their time spent in the suburbs proved less perilous than shooting in Sydney city.

"As far as the west went we felt a little more comfortable out there than in the city," Satchwell says. "The west gets a bad rap but something I found attractive was this great reliance on community and family. There was a little trepidation about how we'd be representing them, but they were the ones offering us tea in the middle of the night where as in the city we had pot plants thrown at us."

While Dangerous' debut is punctuated with several confronting scenes, Chittenden believes the series honestly represents contemporary youth culture.

"I'm not saying all young kids are crims, far from it," he says. "But the overall taste of the series, I believe, does a great job in explaining the interests of Aussie youth."

By Richard Clune
January 14, 2007
The Sunday Mail