From small town to small screen
WHILE growing up at Allora, Paul Denny’s greatest claim to fame was that he was the first boy born in the Allora Hospital.
Now, along with his many theatrical achievements, he can add television series star to that list.
Denny will play the role of a paparazzi photographer and mate of Alex Burchill (Adam Zwar) in the upcoming comedy series Lowdown, which will be screened on ABC TV from Wednesday.
The Daily News caught up with Denny yesterday and he confirmed this was his first major ongoing television role.
“I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that this is the funniest script I have ever been involved with,” he said.
“I’m excited about it, it’s definitely the biggest break I’ve had in TV land and I hope people tune in to watch it.”
Denny and Zwar, who co-wrote, co-produced and co-directed Lowdown, have been mates since uni and Denny got his first commercial theatre break in a one-man show written by Zwar.
“I’ve worked with Adam for years, I’ve known him since university and I did the first play that he wrote ... we have just had a succession of jobs throughout the years that we keep collaborating on, we’re good mates,” he said.
Denny’s character, the Doctor Who-loving Bob Geraghty, is pretty much Burchill’s wingman throughout the eight-episode series.
Burchill plays the role of a gossip-loving showbiz journalist writing for the ailing tabloid the Sunday Sun.
“There are certain elements of me in the character of Bob, I think (Zwar) might have been using me as his muse a bit,” Denny said.
“I’m Alex Burchill’s wingman, I go out on jobs with him and try to snap celebrities in compromising positions, but that’s only one part. Bob gets Alex out of scraps and is always there for Alex when he’s having relationship problems – it’s like a bromance.”
When asked if the relationship in Lowdown mirrored his and Zwar’s, Denny said it was a little different.
“I’d say it’s probably the other way around,” he joked. “He and I are close.”
Lowdown features a raft of well-known Australian faces including Geoffrey Rush as narrator, Kim Gyngell, Dailan Evans, Ashley Zukerman, Beth Buchanan, Julia Zemiro and Anna Jennings-Edquist.
“It was a really enjoyable experience,” Denny said. “We were shooting more than one episode a week which was fast but had a really fun crew and everyone was committed to the project.
“The people I worked with were absolutely great, Geoffrey Rush – I idolised him. They’ve got some great actors and it was just so much fun.”
While he is now about to make his debut in an ongoing television series, Denny admitted there was a part of him that loved theatre.
“I really love theatre for the adrenalin rush, it’s exciting when you’re in front of a live audience but when I moved from Brisbane seven years ago it was because I’d done so much theatre and it just doesn’t pay well,” he said.
“To my dying day I still want to and will do theatre but I just decided that I wanted some more security.”
Denny, who now lives in Melbourne with his wife and 21-month-old daughter, said he would also appear in an episode of Wilfred on SBS on Monday at 10pm and was next week going to shoot an episode of Rush.
“I’ve just landed the role in Rush for one episode, it’s a really good major guest role and we start filming next week,” Denny said.
Depending on the success of the first series, he also hopes to shoot a second series of Lowdown later this year.
Lowdown will premiere on ABC 1 at 9pm Wednesday but all episodes will be screened on ABC 2 from 8.30pm Thursdays.