White Collar Blue: articles

Prime time for a movie

FROM soap stud to pin-up presenter and pretty-boy copper, Don Hany has virtually exhausted the range of television roles offered to young Aussie actors.

And after two seasons as Senior Constable Theo Rahme on White Collar Blue, he's out of a job.

White Collar Blue will screen until November, but Hany already has hung up his holster and handed in his badge: Channel 10 recently confirmed it wasn't picking up the show for a third series.

Hany was hopeful the show would make a third innings, and believes the series was just hitting its stride. However, he says cast and crew were "philosophical" about WCB's demise.

"None of us had got to the point where we weren't enjoying it and I think the longer things run the more risk there is that the show itself goes down hill and the cast and crew get disillusioned," he says.

"This way we went out with smiles on our faces."

According to Ten, the much-hyped and heavily promoted crime drama was shelved due to "funding constraints". Hany admits limited resources were a sore point on set.

"We didn't get enough rehearsal time, and while a lot of actors subscribe to the theory that it is better to keep things fresh and spontaneous, I always feel like I can't take risks when I'm under-prepared," he says. "You know that whatever you do is going to be on national TV every week, so you tend to play it safe."

"And the lack of funding for Australian drama isn't just an issue for actors—our writers came up with great scripts every week and they were just stripped back because we didn't have the budget to bring it to life. It's brutal, and they must have been tearing their hair out."

Nevertheless, Hany says he has a couple of projects on the horizon.

"There are so many things coming up—feature films, telemovies. That's not to say I'll be working on any of them, but I have my fingers crossed," he says.

In WCB's production notes Rahme was described as "the handsome star pupil of the academy" and, unsurprisingly, Hany shares his alter ego's slightly hang-dog good looks.

He seems at ease with the heart-throb tag.

"I don't really think of myself as a TV star," he says.

"It's not like I get recognised on the street and when you're filming you're usually working 12- or 13-hour days, so I don't tend to have much of a social life."

Eagle-eyed couch commandos may remember his small screen debut on Breakers, a short-lived soap not quite bad enough to be compulsive viewing.

In recent years he has edged his way up the TV food chain, guesting on Aussie stalwarts like Home and Away and Water Rats.

So from Bondi Beach, to Summer Bay, Sydney Harbour and back to Sydney's southern beaches for White Collar Blue, Hany has been hard at work on Australia's coastline learning his trade.

"I'm usually offered the romantic lead, but I still see myself as a character actor," he says.

"I don't ever worry that I'm being typecast, because I always feel like the opportunity will present itself where I'm able to exercise different skills.

"There are so many great actors—George Clooney, Harrison Ford—who have been pigeonholed because of the way they look, but when they've been given the opportunity and the right roles they've done some really interesting work."

Despite his soap stud status, Hany says he had no ambitions to be front and centre stage. "I wanted to direct—that's why I got into acting in the first place," he says.

"One of my lecturers at uni told me to try everything—acting, editing—it's all good experience."

By Louise Crossen
August 21, 2003
The Courier Mail