8:30pm – Wednesday, May 20 on TV 3
It’s been an exciting, dangerous ride but this week it all comes to a dramatic conclusion when the critically acclaimed Underbelly: The Mr Asia Story finals on Wednesday, May 20th at 8:30pm on 3.
Over the last 13 weeks viewers have got to experience the true story of how two men changed the face of organised crime in New Zealand and Australia forever.
Aussie Bob Trimbole (Roy Billing) and Kiwi Terry Clark (Matthew Newton) were an unlikely pair. One an overweight Italian-Australian who loved his food and marijuana crops, the other a charming young New Zealander, in love with money, power and beautiful women.
Together, they mastermind the large-scale importation and distribution of heroin into Australia. But their good times couldn’t last forever and this week sees the end to their crime wave.
With Clark serving a life sentence for murder in the UK, the Feds are now strategising to flush out Aussie Bob from his European hideaway. But as Aussie Bob nears his end, Kiwi born actor Roy Billing says that there was more to this notorious criminal than meets the eye.
“I have tried to present Trimbole as a rounded person who had a life and a personality who just happened to earn his living through illegal means, and not as a ‘caricature’ Mafia heavy,” explains Billing.
But having to work within the confines of the script, which are, after all, based on events, the actor says that portraying the man often proved very challenging.
“The most challenging aspect has been to ensure that, over many episodes and scenes, there is continuity to the character and that he is presented as a real and rounded person.”
“The excellent scripts we have help in this aspect, but I have to constantly ask, ‘What is Bob feeling here?’, ‘How would he react to this situation?’, ‘How does this tie in with what we have already seen of him?’ etc etc.”
And as for the most memorable aspect of working on Underbelly: The Mr Asia Story, the actor reseals; “Working as a part of a team with a great cast and crew and having such great scripts.”
However there was something else that proved memorable, something that cemented Billing’s theory that Aussie Bob wasn’t just the monster he is often referred to as.
“Talking to the number of people who came out of the woodwork with personal stories about meeting or knowing Bob, and finding out that while he is alleged to have been one of Australia’s most notorious criminals, he seems to be a man who was well liked by many of those who came into contact with him.”
Make sure not to miss this unconventional criminal’s tragic ending when Underbelly: The Mr Asia Story concludes on Wednesday, May 20th at 8:30pm on 3.