Australia doesn’t generally give Sharks a fair go when it comes to the stories they can tell. Due to the usual grisly nature of a shark attack we generally hide the details or sweep them under the carpet. So it was refreshing to see Channel 9’s latest drama Bite Club centre around a theme that really is an integral part of our surfing and beach culture. Sharks.
A new murder series that delves into the depths of predators lurking not only in our ocean but also on shore in the shape of serial killers. Talking to Todd Lasance, who stars as detective Dan Cooper alongside some of Australia’s most talented actors, he chatted about how the weaving in and out of the predator theme related to both shark and human. Todd’s character is involved in a shark attack at the very start of the first episode alongside his then girlfriend which sets the scene for the rest of the series. A hard scene to shoot and prepare for, Todd spoke about how he researched through reading the novel No Time for Fear written by the Navy Seal Diver, Paul de Gelder, that was attacked in the Sydney Harbour a couple of years ago. “Shooting the shark attack sequence was pretty horrific because your own kind of immune system doesn’t know what’s going on because we shot that sequence as if the attack had just happened and played it all the way through with real life savers”.
“The tension and intensity of the scene from Zoe’s (played by Ash Ricardo) screams and acting it out continuously from start to finish with cameras around five times we just rolled…it was pretty confronting, I’m not going to lie, and exhausting. This trauma sets up the way these characters respond to each other for the entire series”. Through reading the book which goes into great detail about how the navy seal was practically bitten in half by a bull shark, Todd was able to draw from these vivid explanations and really use this when developing his character.
When speaking about Bite Club and the connection of the name, Todd explained that the series is loosely based on a true story. Bite clubs are real and set up around Australia to help those who have been shark attack victims and it really is an integral part of the healing from being a victim of a shark bite. “Some of my monologues that I have in the show are from the real story, which gives some great perspective”.
After a big chat about sharks in the water we get onto the predators lurking on land as he uncovers all the clues around the murders and attacks that happen on his watch as a detective. Todd’s character uncovers a possible serial killer who also happens to be a part of the police force. Fellow actor Dominic Monaghan plays this weird and creepy character that weaves his way through the killing of people in the series while leaving a bite mark on them and removing a tooth from each of his victims.
We got to chat to Dominic, which creeped us out just a little, and spoke about his character in the show and how he came about saying yes to this role. He was sent the script by his manager and loved the character and the opportunity to show a different angle of his acting ability, outside the norm. “I’m quite picky about what I do because there is a lot of mediocre work out there and I would rather hangout and do some gardening”. Obviously this character and the set of Manly Beach in Sydney was another draw card for Dominic to the show, however he is really excited and interested to see how Australia reacts to this show hoping that it might draw to a second season.
Coming from the UK this was the first time he had worked with the Australian cast and asking who his favourite is he professed his love for the dog he got to work with on set as his trusty sidekick. Being the Police Dog Officer, Dominic relied heavily on the dog behaving itself in his scenes, which of course is just like working with children, never a smooth ride!
Both Todd & Dominic have such strong characters in Bite Club and when you start to watch the episodes and delve deeper into the character development you see how much they have invested in this show. Getting access to watch a couple of episodes prior to the interview, it is safe to say that we are HOOKED on this show. It is so great to have another Australian series on our screens based around the water and themes we have never touched on before with the weaving story line associated to Shark Bite victims.
Do yourselves a favour and tap into the show every Wednesday night at 8:30pm on Channel 9. And if you miss it, don’t you worry head to 9Now to catch up on episodes. With only a week to wait between episodes, we promise you won’t be disappointed!