Sam Neill plays Tiny Rowland in Channel 9 miniseries House of Bond, the man who triggered Alan Bond's downfall.
Sam Neill plays Tiny Rowland in Channel 9 miniseries House of Bond, the man who triggered Alan Bond's downfall. Channel 9

Sam Neill speaks about role in 'rollercoaster' House of Bond

"WHILE he's unique, he won't be the last Bond," actor Sam Neill says about the larger-than-life businessman.

Neill stars in Channel Nine's television miniseries about Alan Bond's life and said he was sure people would enjoy watching the "rollercoaster" ride.

"You're familiar with the story of Icarus who flew too close to the sun and his wings melted and he plummeted into the sea - it has a quality like that," Neill said.

"There's something mythic about it."

 

Sam Neill as Tiny Rowland, Adrienne Pickering as Eileen Bond and Ben Mingay as Alan Bond.
Sam Neill as Tiny Rowland, Adrienne Pickering as Eileen Bond and Ben Mingay as Alan Bond. Channel 9

House of Bond chronicles the rise of ten-pound Pom Alan Bond as he goes from sign-writer, to property investor, entrepreneur and Australian sporting hero when he bankrolls the country's America's Cup win.

But Neill comes onto the scene as Tiny Rowland, the man responsible for the tycoon's downfall.

"He was very charming, charismatic but ruthless," he said of the character.

"Bond wanted to be the biggest player in the world on the establishment stage. Tiny Rowland already was, but that didn't make him any happier with the establishment.

"Then when Bond sort of overstepped his mark Tiny Rowland did everything he possibly could to ruin Bond."

Neill said the controversy that resulted from the series about Gina Rinehart's late father in House of Hancock did not deter him from joining the cast for Channel Nine's latest biopic.

 

Sam Neill said Tiny Rowland's character was
Sam Neill said Tiny Rowland's character was "tough in his own way... suavely tough”. Channel 9

"I probably can't talk much about House of Hancock because there's probably 20 lawyers outside my door, but I had no qualms about this," he said.

"I realised I could play the part with reasonable dexterity but also the director, Mark Joffe who's a very close friend of mine talked me into it.

"I came around pretty quickly. Mark's fun to work with."

House of Bond might be one of the last chances we will get to see Neill in an acting role for a while, aside from a stint as a "cantankerous" Mr McGregor in Peter Rabbit, as he has a project of a different nature on the boil.

"Now I'm away, coming and going for about six months on a very long documentary series which we're doing at the moment," he said, before adding the venture involved lots of travel, both in Australia and abroad.

 

Ben Mingay as Alan Bond and Sam Neill as Tiny Rowland.
Ben Mingay as Alan Bond and Sam Neill as Tiny Rowland. Channel 9

In the meantime, he said House of Bond offered something "intriguing and fun" for viewers, and praised Ben Mingay for his performance in the lead role.

"Ben I think is fantastic," he said.

"He's got the sort of charisma and the cheekiness and the energy of the character of Bond down pat.

"It's a very intriguing performance."

Part one of House Of Bond airs 9pm on Monday, April 24 on Channel Nine.



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