Underbelly: articles

Filming kicks off on gangland feud

FILMING starts tomorrow on a big-budget TV drama about Melbourne's murky underworld war.

Underbelly, a 13-part series being made by Channel 9, will detail the events of the long-running and bloody gangland stoush.

Filming is expected to take place at locations around the city where the real-life events occurred.

A powerful cast has been assembled to bring the deadly story to the screen.

Simon Westaway, whose credits include Janus, Wildside and Through My Eyes, plays underworld figure Mick Gatto.

Mr Gatto and Westaway met at a Carlton restaurant during the week to to discuss the Underbelly project.

"As an actor, it was a pleasure to meet Mr Gatto and will certainly help my portrayal of him throughout the series," Westaway said.

Mr Gatto was cleared of murder after shooting hitman Andrew "Benji" Veniamin in a Carlton restaurant in March, 2004.

A jury accepted that he acted in self-defence.

Several Underbelly cast members gathered at St Kilda restaurant Circa on Wednesday evening for drinks after a read-through of the script.

The series will be aired next year.

Lantana and Chopper star Vince Colosimo will portray murdered standover man Alphonse Gangitano.

Robert Mammone will play accused murderer Tony Mokbel and Gyton Grantley will portray confessed baby-faced killer Carl Williams.

Former Blue Heelers star Martin Sacks plays murdered underworld figure Mario Condello.

Caroline Gillmer will portray gangland matriarch Judy Moran and Kevin Harrington her murdered husband Lewis Moran.

Kat Stewart will play Roberta Williams, estranged wife of killer Carl, with former Neighbours star Madeleine West portraying Mokbel's partner Danielle McGuire.

Last Man Standing star Rodger Corser and Caroline Craig (Blue Heelers) will play detectives who head the investigation.

By Fiona Byrne
July 01, 2007
Sunday Herald Sun