Water Rats star made his reputation as a film and theatre actor, but now Colin
patrols the small screen.
Friels may have made his name in the film industry, but he doesn’t believe
taking a long-term television role indicates his star is fading.
is seen in the Nine Network’s new big-budget, high-action drama series Water
Rats, based on the adventures of the police who patrol Sydney’s picturesque
attach a certain stigma to doing television,” he says. “I never have.
Actors are actors as far as I’m concerned. I’ve seen some of the
worst acting in my live on $89 million budget films, and I’ve seen some
wonderful acting on a $100,000 video.”
roles in big-budget Hollywood films (such as Darkman, with Liam Neeson) and
acclaimed Australian films (Malcolm, Angel Baby), Colin is eager to shrug off
the widespread notion that he is primarily a film actor.
he has an Australian Film Institute Best Actor Award for his role in Malcolm, he
has a long list of theatre credits, too – everything from Hamlet and MacBeth
to American Buffalo and The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.
Louis Nowra’s The Incorruptible was written for him.
never been a film actor really,” he says.
“I’ve been in a few (films) but I’ve never done huge parts. I’ve
never done anything that I’m particularly proud of.”
decision to take on the role of larrikin Detective Senior Constable Frank
Holloway had a lot to do with continuity of employment.
was regular work. Something
ongoing. Something that you can
build up,” he says. “Look, if
this was a play then you’d still be doing your best.
It doesn’t make any difference.”
is loath to delve into the intricacies of his Water Rats character, teamed on
screen with Catherine McClements as his crime-fighting partner Detective Sen-Constable Rachel “Goldie” Goldstein.
couldn’t tell you about any character I’ve ever played,” he says.
“I hate character acting anyway. Saying
that my character wouldn’t do this or wouldn’t do that.
Basically, your job is to obey the script and make it work.”