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Matt Newton to play Terry Clark in Underbelly prequel

MATT Newton may have knocked back playing a hitman in the first series of ratings hit Underbelly - but what a difference a year can make.

Confidential understands Newton has signed on the dotted line to portray Terry "Mr Asia" Clark in the second series of the hotly anticipated prequel.

It's a juicy role for Newton, 31, who has been enjoying a professional roll of late after a year of personal drama.

The Stupid, Stupid Man star and son of Australian personality Bert gained rave reviews when he made his directorial debut with Three Blind Mice at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada last month.

Scoring the challenging role of Clark, a ruthless head of a New Zealand drug syndicate which imported heroin into NZ, Australia and the UK in the 1970s is the icing on the cake.

While Channel 9 yesterday was tight-lipped about casting details and plot lines, the series will follow Sydney's underworld in the 1970s and '80s.

In other casting news, it is understood veteran actor Andrew McFarlane is tipped to play anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay, while Roy Billing is expected to step into the shoes of crime boss Robert Trimbole.

Former White Collar Blue star Peter O'Brien is set to play controversial racing identity George Freeman.

Filming for the series will begin in Sydney next week.

October 13, 2008
Herald Sun