There was a feeling of panic for Aaron Jeffery. Had he just made a huge mistake? The actor had been handed the job of a lifetime, the portrayal of Mark Chopper Read in Underbelly Files: Chopper, one he knew was a gift of a role. The only problem was, Eric Bana had beaten him to the punch (no pun intended).
Eric famously played Mark "Chopper" Read in the 2000 film Chopper. The career-making performance as one of the country's most notorious criminals turned the former Full Frontal comedian into an international star.
See the Underbelly Files: Chopper trailer in the player below.
"You have that moment of fear," Aaron, 47, tells TV WEEK of being offered the big role.
"You think, 'Oh, my God – can I do this?' Eric's portrayal of Chopper was extraordinary. Mark Read himself said that Eric did a better Chopper than him."
Curiously, Aaron had actually auditioned for the role, which eventually went to Eric. In a slightly weird twist of fate, Aaron may even have had a hand in helping Eric win the part.
His co-star, Todd Lasance, who plays Chopper's rival, Syd Collins, is enthusiastic about the experience of working with Aaron.
"He had a lot of pressure on him," Todd, 32, says. "But he was so giving in all his scenes – he wants this to be great.
"And he's so strangely perfect for Chopper, because he brings this vulnerability and sense of humour to the character."
Aaron adds: "I'd never done anything like that before, but I loved the character. You can wait around your whole life to do something like this as an actor."
- FitnessOrangetheory: The new fitness craze that's taking off in NZ
Good Health ChoicesToday 10:00am
- BodyBeyoncé reveals the post-birth, pre-Coachella diet she says she'll never go on again
Now To LoveYesterday 2:25pm
- RoyalsA never-before-seen video of Duchess Meghan during a charity trip to India has emerged
Now To LoveYesterday 10:00am
- TVJohn Campbell is replacing Jack Tame on TVNZ's Breakfast show
Now To LoveYesterday 9:31am
- At homeFive ways to make every meal fabulous with Annabelle White
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyYesterday 9:00am
- BodyWellington woman's life-changing recovery after controversial multiple sclerosis treatment
Woman's DayYesterday 8:40am
- RoyalsMore details have been revealed about Prince William's visit to New Zealand next week
Now To LoveYesterday 8:30am
- BodyThe psychology behind why we binge eat and tools to help end the cycle for good
Now To LoveApr 17, 2019
- BodyThe vital things you should be doing to look after your heart
Good Health ChoicesApr 16, 2019