Stingers: articles

Lisa Chappell

Lisa Chappell as Detective-Constable Megan Walsh in Stingers

Lisa fancies a dress after the farm

IT is almost 10 months ago now that we watched McLeod’s Daughters in horror as Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappell) met her maker while driving a ute.

It was a nasty business.

There we were, helpless to prevent one of our favourite TV personalities from plunging straight off our screens and into a quarry.

But Chappell fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief, because the four-time Logie winner returns to the box next week on Stingers.

The 36-year-old plays striking and intelligent drug squad Detective-Constable Megan Walsh, who impresses Harris (Gary Sweet) and Church (Peter Phelps) so much that she’s asked to join the undercover team.

For Chappell, the role—which runs across eight episodes—was ideal.

“(I left McLeod’s because) I felt I was ready to move on and play new characters, which is why Megan was such a great opportunity,” says Chappell. “I hadn’t really played anyone like her.”

Indeed, Megan turns her fair share of heads, from her looks to her research skills and the ease with which she poses as a prostitute.

“Wasn’t that fun,” laughs Chappell.

“I’ve just played dirty old Claire with muddy boots and a swagger and more balls than any of the blokes on all the farms put together, so it was quite nice.

“Megan’s not a femme fatale but she’s comfortable with her sexuality.

“I think because she’s so clever and good at her job, she doesn’t try to hide that she’s a sexy woman.”

But the detective-constable isn’t as picture-perfect as she appears.

“She’s a multi-faceted girl,” says the star. “She has methods that are not orthodox in order for her to do her job the best she possibly can.”

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean she can’t look good in the process.

Chappell admits she absolutely relished the opportunity to break free from farm-wear and don a more feminine wardrobe.

“I found getting in and out of cars exceedingly difficult but I loved it. In the office, it’s slightly more sophisticated, but when she hits the streets she gets into these spray-on flares. Luckily they stretch.”

Clothing is something Chappell got a little carried away with off-screen too. “I hadn’t worked in Melbourne before,” she says.

“All I did was shop—to the point where my husband thought my card had been stolen.

“I said ‘I’m living near Chapel Street. It’s not my fault’.”

Chappell says she spent much of her spare time in her acting hiatus working on songs.

“I don’t claim to be a great singer or songwriter,” says the New Zealand-born star, who started singing at an early age.

“But I tell my stories with my voice and that’s what I really enjoy—not having a script or a character to hide behind.”

Chappell is meeting with a record company in the next month.

“They may tell me to stick to my day job,” she laughs. “Lucky I love my day job if they do.”

By Penelope Cross
July 28, 2004
The Daily Telegraph