TV Week: “The real McCoy” Wildside 30th May 1998

TV Week
30th May 1998

Take a walk on the Wildside with our boy Bill – alias modest actor Tony Martin …

Tony Martin stands uneasily in the spotlight. He seems much happier in the damp, shadowy world that is Wildside, than the showy and glitzy world of television.

On the set of the ABC series, Tony thrives in the half-light essential to the show’s moody atmospherics, where he is a key part of the close-knit cast and crew.

Playing detective Bill McCoy, he carries the bulk of the show’s dramatic scenes and is an essential element in the show’s growing success, but if he’s under pressure he keeps it well hidden.

“You have to keep it all in perspective. I worked for four years on E Street (where he played Reverend Bob), and that was big pressure as well,” he says.

“I think pressure is perceived from the outside, because when you’re here day after day you are more concerned with just making it work.”

Ensconced in the grimy surroundings of the Wildside set, Tony is visibly uneasy taking about his own success.

“I get a little embarrassed sometimes because people tell me they think I’m terrific and that sort of thing, but I’m just really one tiny segment of everything which operates underneath,” he says.

“It’s like an iceberg, I’m that little tip that sticks up out of the water, but underneath there’s this mass of stuff that’s going on that makes it work.”

The 1998 Logie Award winner tries at every opportunity to share accolades with fellow cast members, which include Alex Dimitriades, Jessica Napier, Rachael Blake and Aaron Pedersen.

“And it is not just the cast, it works through the whole crew as well,” he says.

A hit with critics, the series is also becoming an industry favourite, with the cream of Australian acting lining up for guest-starring roles.

And Wildside could soon be enjoying International success, with plans to sell the series overseas well advanced.

Tony Martin: The facts

He began his TV career in the groundbreaking soap Number 96.

Tony won an AFI Award for Best Make Actor in a TV drama, for his role as Neddy Smith in the controversial ABC drama Blue Murder.

He’s appeared in several Australian TV series, including E Street and Heartbreak High.

Tony had a part in the movie Evil Angels (The Lindy Chamberlain story) opposite Hollywood favourites Meryl Streep and Sam Neill.

He will soon be seen in the independent film The Interview, co-starring Hugh Weaving and former Water Rats star Aaron Jeffery.

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