Underbelly: articles

Les Hill out of Underbelly's second series in US move

UNDERBELLY star Les Hill, who played the murderous gangster Les Hill, will not be appearing in the second series of the hit TV show.

After just returning from a trip to the US, Hill says he's planning to move there from January.

"I've had a few conversations with my manager and agent in LA so we're all of the same belief that there is a large amount of work in the states that would suit my particular ability," he said.

It's a big move for Hill, who not long ago, was working as a bouncer and doing TV commercials to get by.

But thanks to his part playing the Melbourne drug gangster in Channel 9's hit gangland crime TV series, Hill's profile has soared.

Hill, 35, first came to attention playing Blake Dean in the TV soap Home And Away in the early 1990s but credits Underbelly for boosting his opportunities.

"It (Underbelly) has shown people that there's a little bit more to me than soap work and TV commercials," Hill said.

"That's the main issue in Australia, we don't have enough of that kind of work."

Hill says his schedule means he can't be involved in the prequel, which is due to start filming in Sydney and Melbourne from next month, but he's confident it will be a great series.

"They're going back to the 70s and 80s in Melbourne and Sydney so there's going to be a different bunch of characters," Hill said.

"I haven't seen a script… but I'm sure it will be a great story with great people on board."

Hill, who will star in the upcoming telemovie Scorched, also on Nine, says he's keen to do film and TV work in the US, and would even consider comedy.

"It's going to be a job by job scenario," he said, adding that he was also hoping to do two feature films in Australia before he left.

"I have a great love for comedy and I'm looking forward to making some comedy but I think it has to be with the right script and the right director."

Playing a prime minister's chief of staff in Scorched, which airs on August 31, allowed him to break out of his Underbelly role.

"It was a good opportunity. It was a very different character - not only physically, emotionally quite different as well," Hill said.

"I was very keen to do something straight away to show people that I wasn't just an angry man."

Hill said he enjoyed working beside TV veteran Georgie Parker, who plays a corrupt prime minister.

"Georgie Parker is by far the best thing in it," Hill said.

"She does nasty well for someone who is so lovely."

The movie, which also stars his Underbelly cast mate Vince Colosimo and Cameron Daddo, is set five years in the future when Sydney is in the grip of drought and ravaged by fires.

It will air on Nine at 8.30pm on Sunday, August 31.

August 28, 2008
The Daily Telegraph