One of my Undercover Special Agents (blog follower) from Australia, McPhee submitted this great article about Australian actress Claire van der Boom. She’s appeared in two episodes so far, including “E Malama” this past week. Read on to find out more about the former Mrs. Danny Williams!
Mahalo to McPhee, and you Aussies can check out her Five-0 promos here on youtube.
Note- the Australians haven’t met Rachel yet, they’re only on Episode 2, “Ohana”.
“Time in the Sun”, Claire van der Boom TV Guide Interview, from The Examiner newspaper
Claire van der Boom’s career is not only taking off, it’s travelling to Hawaii. The former Rush star spoke with Guy Davis about her new role on Hawaii Five-0.
One of the most fearsome characters on Ten’s Hawaii Five-0 – the slick, snazzy update of the classic cop series – is Rachel, the ex-wife of Detective Danny “Danno” Williams, played by Scott Caan.
While we haven’t seen Rachel in the flesh as yet, we have heard the hot-tempered arguments between her and Danno over the phone… and the fact that the screeching theme from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is Danno’s ringtone also gives some indication that Rachel is trouble.
Ah, but appearances can be deceiving. And getting one side of the story never provides the big picture.
That’s what viewers of Hawaii Five-0 will discover soon, because Rachel is set to show up in the near future, and in the form of Australian actor Claire van der Boom.
Yes, the former Rush star is joining the cast of the show alongside fellow Aussie Alex O’Loughlin (who plays tough-guy cop Steve McGarrett), ex-Lost star Daniel Dae Kim and Battlestar Galactica’s Grace Park.
And while her co-stars will be battling crime in the beautiful tropical locale of Hawaii, van der Boom’s Rachel is set to battle Danno, her ex-husband and the father of her young daughter, Grace.
What’s more, it’s going to be a fairly even fight, because Rachel is just as tough as her ex. But she’s also nowhere near as scary as Danno has made out.
After all, as McGarrett and the rest of the team have discovered, Danno is no walk in the park himself.
“You initially may think that Rachel is supposed to be this out-and-out bitch but then you see how Danno relates to other people!” laughed van der Boom. “It’s then you start to realise there might be a bit more to their relationship, ‘God help her, being married to him’.”
After their separation, Rachel, a well-to-do Englishwoman, has remarried but there’s still a bit of romantic tension between her and Danno.
“You actually wonder how these two ever got together – this upper-crust Brit and this rough-around-the-edges cop from New Jersey – so it takes a bit of adding up to work that out,” van der Boom said. “But they spark together, both positively and negativity. And they match wits very well – sometimes she’ll top him but other times he’ll top her. It’s a fun power struggle.”
Following her acclaimed performance in the epic World War II miniseries The Pacific, van der Boom was offered the role of Rachel without having to audition. It marks another upswing in a career that has seen her rarely out of work since graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) in 2005.
She admits, however, that the fast pace of making a show such as Hawaii Five-0 is at times daunting, especially when working opposite a live wire such as Ocean’s Eleven star Caan.
“It sounds a bit wanky but I do a lot of imaginative work in creating a character,” she explained.
“During the day, while I’m doing the dishes, I’ll be thinking about this woman and who she might be and why she’s in this situation. But on the day, you kind of have to drop all that and work with what’s in front of you… which is Scott Caan.
“So you just have to play, really. Particularly with someone like Scott, who improvises all the time. One of my first days on the set, someone said to me ‘You’ve probably guessed by now that Scott does what he wants. Just go with it’. But he keeps coming up with such gold that they let him. He’s a very, very witty and naughty man – one of the funniest I’ve met, to be honest.”
When she’s not working alongside Caan, she’s working with O’Loughlin, whom she glowingly describes as “one of the best”.
And she admits that there are times when she looks around the Hawaii locations and pinches herself, amazed that she’s working on a top-rating US television show halfway around the world.
“You do appreciate every second of it because the nature of the job is that you never know where or when you’ll work next,” she said.
For van der Boom, however, there’s a bit of upcoming work on her slate. This February, for instance, she’ll be seen in The Man Who Got Away, one of three Underbelly true-crime telemovies.
And her character? “She’s a bit of a scrag,” she laughed. “But that’s the Underbelly style, isn’t it? The women aren’t always presented in the classiest way. But rather are the gents, really!”