March 26th 1994
Blue Heelers stars Lisa McCune and Martin Sacks might clash on screen, but off screen they’re good mates – he’s even moved into her room!
Her old room, that is. Lisa recently left her flat to live with her boyfriend musician Jamie Osborne and 35-year-old Martin moved in.
“Martin’s like a big brother to me,” says 23-year-old Lisa. He’s a mate, and he’s such a gentleman! He’s so chivalrous, very polite and sensitive.”
Martin laughs off his co-star’s compliments, but it’s clear the two have an easy-going working relationship based on mutual respect.
Their characters on Blue Heelers however, don’t enjoy such a relaxed friendship.
Tough detective P.J. Hasham (Sacks) and Constable Maggie Doyle (McCune) clashed from the moment they met, when she introduced herself as a police officer and he said: “Oh, I thought you were a girl.”
Since then, wisecracking P.J has kept Maggie on edge.
“It’s P.J.’s way of asserting some sort of authority, which is normal with guys like that who make derogatory comments to women,” Martin says.
Lisa says she’s glad Maggie can cope with P.J.
“Because of her background (her father and brothers are police officers), she actually finds P.J.’s teasing quite amusing,” she says.
“It’s when he pulls rank on her that she will react against him and their disagreements get personal. But in social situations she laughs him off, especially when he tries to crack on to women.”
Martin says: “It’s almost like they’ve got this private language – she knows exactly what he’s doing, and he knows she’s wised up to his tricks.
“P.J. has seen in Maggie that she’s very capable. he’s very aware of the fact that she’s a good cop.
“Everyone at the station watches everyone else to see if they can cut it.
“If they can, the respect follows. Maggie’s proved she’s got what it takes – she’s earned her stripes.”
Martin has 16 years’ experience acting in film, television and theatre.
His first major role was in the film Emoh Run in 1985, co-starring with Joy Smithers.
Since then he has appeared in the mini-series Land of Hope and Fields of Fire III and in the films Slate, Win & Me; Encounters and Love in Limbo.
In 1988 he made a French-Australian telemovie for the ABC, called La Fricheuse.
Martin, whose father is an American citizen, lived in Los Angeles between 1989 and 1990, where he had a guest roles in thirtysomething and Jake and The Fatman.
For Lisa, a role in the Seven Network’s Blue Heelers is a dream come true.
She has had a run of bad luck in her career, including failed stage shows Nonsense II and Great Expectations. A pilot for Artist Services, called Radio Waves, didn’t screen, and she lost the lead role in Newlyweds to Annie Jones.
Until Blue Heelers, Lisa was best known as “the Coles girl”, after a series of TV commercials for the supermarket chain.
“It’s so nice now I’m starting to be recognised as Maggie, although people still say to me, ‘You’re the Coles girl, aren’t you?’,” she says.
Martin is also being recognised as P.J. from Blue Heelers.
“This is something new for me,” he says, “because, although I’ve had a lot of work, it’s never been in something where I was recognised much in public.”
Story: Caron James
Picture: Dave Mason
Original content copyright TV Week.