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The Herald Sun (2017)
Toni Collette is killer copís wife
Augusst 05, 2017 | Written by Colin Vickery
Toni Collette wants to keep it real. After a burst of Hollywood films including xXx: Return Of Xander Cage alongside Vin Diesel, and Madame with Harvey Keitel, it was time to return to Australia and television for Blue Murder: Killer Cop. The two-part Channel 7 miniseries comes 22 years after the award-winning Blue Murder and again stars Richard Roxburgh as disgraced former detective Roger Rogerson. Roxburgh has the showier role. He is downright scary as Rogerson. The 55-year-old actor brings menace to the simplest of lines such as "there are some blokes you take an instant dislike to - it saves time".

But it is Collette, 44, who has the most intriguing part. The Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner plays Rogersonís wife Anne Melocco. The pair married in 2004, 12 years before Rogerson was sentenced to jail for life for the murder of 20-year-old student Jamie Gao. "The fact that it (Blue Murder: Killer Cop) was a true story attracted me," Collette says. "As a basic story it is riveting and I was a big fan of the original Blue Murder and also, since I was a teenager, of Richard. I had worked briefly with him in the past (on 2006 British movie Like Minds) and wanted to work with him again." Blue Murder: Killer Cop feels like two miniseries in one. In scenes set in Kingís Cross, beginning in 1989, Rogerson is ferocious as he links with drug baron Michael Hurley (Dan Wyllie). But the scenes between Rogerson and Melocco are entirely different. There is a tenderness and a domesticity that could be straight out of The Waltons.

"I thought it was fascinating that anybody would choose to be with someone like Roger," Collette says. "You never know what brings two people together - what their chemistry is and what happens in an intimate relationship. "For this guy (Rogerson) who is so extreme in his choices, it was interesting to me to help bring some normalcy to his world. I think that is what Anne is. Sheís his partner and lives a pretty regular existence in suburbia. "No matter what he partakes in and what corrupt activities he is involved in, this is a completely different part of his life. There is a real beauty to their relationship and a real sense of romance. "She is scared of him but kind of fascinated and has a certain amount of respect for him, despite what we know he has done. Who knows what has happened in her life, psychologically, for her to be attracted to a man like that. "Richard is so smart - he infuses Roger with a generous amount of charm. He was in the make-up chair for quite a while so by the time I got to work every day he looked like Roger. "I got so used to seeing him that way that I forgot what he actually looks like (in real life). He is completely convincing. "There were moments when he really freaked me out."

The fact that Blue Murder: Killer Cop was filming when Rogerson was convicted for killing Gao added an extra sense of urgency to the project. "It was strange because we were pretty much filming in the street where they (Rogerson and Melocco) lived and at one point Anne drove past in her car while we were shooting," Collette says. "I think the producers had talked about shooting in that exact house which would have been too much. "I was aware that it was a real situation. I couldnít help but feel slightly responsible. There is a sense of making someone feel like a real person. It is that simple." Blue Murder: Killer Cop is just one of 10 movie and television projects featuring Collette released in 2017.

Madame couldnít be further away from Sevenís miniseries. The art house movie, directed by French writer Amanda Sthers, centres on a wealthy American couple Anne and Bob (Collette and Keitel), who move to a manor house in Paris to spice up their marriage. Collette has been in high demand internationally since her Golden Globe-nominated role starring opposite Rachel Griffiths in Aussie hit Murielís Wedding (1994). The Sixth Sense (1999) opposite Bruce Willis scored her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, while About A Boy (2002) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006) further cemented her status as one of our leading acting exports. Television series The United States Of Tara (2009-11), in which Collette played Tara Gregson, a woman with multiple personality disorder, was another milestone. The sheer diversity of roles and genres is a Collette hallmark, excelling in comedy, drama, and action and ranging from big budget blockbusters to small independent films. In a week she starts filming musical drama Hearts Beat Loud opposite Nick Offerman (Parks And Recreation) and Ted Danson (Cheers).

"One of the advantages of having a job like this is that I am able to change it up so often," Collette says. "I never get bored. It is always exciting. I have never had a specific career path. I literally listen to my gut. Things (scripts) come along and either it feels right or it doesnít. But it is a very clear feeling. "Iím really into all kinds of stories and genres and I appreciate all different kinds of films and I like TV as well. "I like storytelling. It is the ones that give me goosebumps on my arms and get me excited and keep me awake at night because I think about them that make me jump in and get involved."

Blue Murder: Killer Cop, Sunday 8.30pm and Monday 8.45pm, Channel 7