Brooke Satchwell dates a hitman in dark new Aussie comedy
FOXTEL'S new darkly funny crime drama Mr Inbetween has been more than a decade in the making.
Ever since he saw Scott Ryan's short film at the St Kilda Film Festival in 2004, director Nash Edgerton was keen to work with the charismatic actor.
Ryan managed to turn his short film, a mockumentary about a hitman, into the 2005 feature film The Magician with Edgerton producing.
Ever since, the duo has been trying to adapt Ryan's character Ray Shoesmith for the small screen.
"We got close a few times over those 10-plus years," Edgerton tells The Guide.
"Ultimately a lot of people liked the scripts and liked me as a director but wanted me to cast a known actor in the lead. I kept saying I'm not interested in making it unless Scott stars in the show."
The project finally came together with the help of Screen Australia and FX Productions, which will air the six-part series overseas.
"It was a treat to finally have it happen and tell him to quit his day job and come perform in the show," Edgerton says.
"There are so many people who've seen it and go 'Where did you find this actor?' and I say 'That's the guy I've been talking about this whole time'. He has a great natural ability in front of the camera, which is the whole reason I wanted to make the show."
Mr Inbetween follows Ray as he tries to balance his roles as a father, ex-husband, boyfriend and best friend with his job as a criminal for hire.
Brooke Satchwell stars opposite Ryan as his love interest, paramedic Ally.
"I don't think anyone else could do what he does, which was very much the lynch pin for me," she says. "The rhythm and integrity of his performance, I was very much taking my cues from him. My character is a device that is reflecting the choices that Ray is wanting to make in terms of opening up his life and allowing people to be more intimate with him and what that means in terms of who he is.
"The beauty of what Scott writes is that it comes from such an authentic, non-judgemental perspective. With his character you start to respect his moral code,. He does things out of loyalty, however it does exist in this landscape that he takes people out for for a living."
Ray and Ally meet at a dog park and as they begin to date she has no idea about his criminal ties.
"It's clumsy and cute," she says. "She makes Ray feel comfortable to make a choice outside of his normal modus operandi. She's not shiny and perfect. She had to have some edges as well to intrigue Ray."
Mr Inbetween premieres on Monday at 8.30pm on Foxtel's Showcase channel.