TV WEEK
16th February 1991

Steve Bastoni wings his way into action

It’s not often a police series is blessed with an angel.

But the ABC’s Police Rescue has its very own angel, Constable Yiannis Angelopolous, just Angel to his workmates, played by 24-year-old Steve Bastoni.

Like his leader and role model Mickey McClintock (played by Gary Sweet), Angel is good-looking, fearless and dedicated.

And like Mickey, Angel also has an eye for a pretty woman.

The first major storyline built around Angel, titled Angel After Hours, goes to air in the Rescue episode screening on February 21.

Home is a high-rise housing commission flat in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills where he lives with his mother and younger brothers and sisters. Angel is the head of the house, the breadwinner.

“T think there’s a certain irony in having a rescue worker called Angel,” Steve tells TV WEEK, “because that is just what he’d appear to be by someone trapped in a wreckage and almost dying.

“Angel is the youngest and newest member of the rescue squad. He chose rescue because he genuinely cares about people and wants to do something worthwhile for the community.

“Angel is a likeable character, basically a kid who wants to do the right thing — to grow up to be a responsible adult.”

And Angel had to grow up quickly, becoming the breadwinner at 16 after throwing his abusive, alcoholic father out of the house.

“There is still a lot of pent-up aggression in Angel,” says Steve. “And in this storyline — in which his father comes home after eight years and starts to beat up the family — the history starts again.”

Police Rescue is Steve Bastoni’s first association with series TV.

“I’ve had opportunities to go into series earlier, but I’ve held back,” he says. “I’ve been scared of tying myself down for that length of time.

“But Police Rescue is a different format altogether, so I don’t look at it as a series as such, but more of a series of one-hour films.”

Since completing Police Rescue, Steve spent three months in the U.S. and was offered five episodes in Universal’s new series, Superboy.

“Sadly, because I could not get a work permit in time, I had to let it go,” he says. “But at least I know they’re interested in me.”

Back on the home front, he has a movie coming up in April — Rio And Katz, a romantic comedy about two stand-up comics.

“It’s a great story in which this guy and girl have different approaches to their work and can’t see eye-to-eye ideologically,’’ Steve says. ‘‘However, there is a physical attraction which keeps them together — and emotionally one would be lost without the other.”

By Garry Shelley

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