“Risky business for van der Boom” article from the Australian paper, Herald Sun

Claire van der Boom

Thanks again to eagle-eyed Undercover Special Agent McPhee in Australia, who provided the link to this great article about Aussie actress Claire van der Boom.  Previously not known to American fans, she left a popular and successful Australian show to get a foot into the American market.  Notably, she appeared in HBO’s World War II series, “The Pacific”.  The article focuses mainly on her role in “Underbelly: The Man Who Got Away” a crime drama based on an Australian “Bonnie and Clyde” couple.

Will Danny get back together with Rachel?  Let the debate begin!


Risky business for van der Boom
Source:  Colin Vickery, Darren Devlyn, From: Herald Sun, February 16, 2011 12:01AM

Claire van der Boom

Claire van der Boom’s move to the US seems to be paying off. Picture: Manuela Cifra Source: Herald Sun

A GAMBLE is paying off for Claire van der Boom, write Colin Vickery and Darren Devlyn.

WHEN Claire van der Boom quit Rush to go to the US at the end of 2008, some thought she was crazy.

Most Aussie actors work for years before they even think of trying their luck in Hollywood.

Van der Boom chose to base herself in Los Angeles after less than 12 months on the Channel 10 action drama.

For many cynics, it was an adventure certain to end in disappointment. Surely, they thought, a humiliated van der Boom would be back home within months.

Somehow, van der Boom has managed to conjure success in the US and Australia a mere three years after taking the biggest risk of her life.

Last year was a monster year for the 27-year-old, who shone in wildly disparate roles in US mini-series The Pacific and the ABC’s Sisters of War.

Van der Boom also landed a recurring role in Hawaii Five-O and is set to star opposite Josh Hartnett in Roland Joffe’s (The Killing Fields) big-budget US movie Singularity.

In Australia, she stars in Underbelly: The Man Who Got Away and has a guest role on City Homicide.

“I wake up in Los Angeles and pinch myself that I’m giving it a go,” van der Boom says. “It (leaving Rush to go to the US) was pretty controversial at the time.”

Van der Boom admits that 2009 was the toughest year of her life. If there was any glamour in Hollywood, she wasn’t seeing it.

“I was nannying and getting up at 6am to drive out to Malibu to work at a rehab centre,” she says.

“I was so exhausted dealing with that world and a car that was breaking down.

“I started wondering what I was doing in LA without my family. I’d get on the phone to my parents and they would go, ‘Are you OK? You know you can come home and do nursing. We’ll support you if you want to go back to university. When is this going to stop?’ ”

Van der Boom kept the faith, even though the endless auditions started to undermine her confidence.

“In America you’re expected to go in there and hit it because they’ve got 400 other people coming through. They know in the first 20 seconds if you’re right for the role.

“Initially I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it (the audition) right. Then I realised I had to let it go.

“It’s out of your control. It (rejection) literally could be because you’re too tall for the leading guy.”

Underbelly: The Man Who Got Away shows a different side of van der Boom. She plays Clelia Vigano, the daughter of respectable Melbourne restaurateurs, who hooks up with drug trafficker David McMillan (Toby Schmitz).

The pair are a 1970s version of Bonnie and Clyde, juiced up on heroin, rolling in money, searching for thrills.

McMillan and Vigano’s audacity made them a target for the police, who set up the Operation Aries taskforce.

The dream turned into a nightmare and Vigano was sent to Fairlea Women’s Prison, where she died in a fire in 1982.

“They were both adrenalin junkies. They didn’t know where the brakes were,” van der Boom says. “What I could relate to most was her sense of fun and her need to have it.

“I strive to live life to the fullest, but use instinct to pull back when needed.”

Schmitz plays McMillan, who as a student at Melbourne’s Caulfield Grammar was renowned for his flair and intellect.

As a boy, he hosted the Junior News show on Channel 9. In his teens, it became obvious conformity was not for him and that he would become a serious risk-taker.

He tried to smuggle hashish from India in an old radio and was let off with a warning when busted by a customs officer.

“He was addicted to smuggling, addicted to feeling fear,” Schmitz says. “This is really an ‘at large’ telemovie a bit of catch me if you can.”


Underbelly: The Man Who Got Away, Channel 9, Monday 8.30pm


About officer808

Investigating Hawaii Five-0 from the inside.
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15 Responses to “Risky business for van der Boom” article from the Australian paper, Herald Sun

  1. Yanabamenara says:

    I’d like Danny and Rachel to discover that they’d be better friends than lovers, like a lot of divorced parents do.

  2. rescuewriter (Vanessa) says:

    Probably not a popular opinion, but I don’t really want to see Danny and Rachel get back together. I like Yanabamenara’s idea, they discover they’re better friends than lovers. All that being said, I do like the actress.

  3. Ed says:

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if she hooks up with McGarrett.

  4. Kristen says:

    I don’t want them to get back together.

  5. jlopie (Lynnette) says:

    I’m so on the fence, Officer 808! I can’t make up my mind on this most important of issues! One minute I think “Oh, poor Danny! Life is so unfair! Rachel – you’re a complete idiot! How could you ever give Danny up for stuffy, boring Stan with the big house and big cars and his “holier than thou” attitude? Then the next minute I’m wondering what she ever saw in Danny to begin with – he’s so smart alecky and opinionated and ANGRY! But, we have had many good discussions on Danny’s psyche elsewhere, and I think the general agreement is that Danny is who he is because of his relationship – both the good and the bad parts – with Rachel. We love Danny for his temperment, his witicisms, his wisdom and his willingness to take McGarrett on and school him on the way humans should act in the real world! A reconciliation between Rachel and Danny would probably make for a mushy, gushy, everything’s cool all the time Danny – and that would be really boring! Plus if Rachel and Danny get back together, will they stay on the Island, or go back to New Jersey?
    And I’ve said before, Rachel irritates me. But I’d like to know why she does. I really want to know why she left Danny, I think it will ultimately tell us why Danny is so angry.
    I’m sort of visualizing a future episode, maybe in Season 2 (please, will you announce this and get it over with, CBS?), where the Housing Commish decides he doesn’t want to have the larger than life persona of Detective Danny Williams breathing down his back anymore. I’m seeing maybe a sniper’s bullet seriously wounding Danny, and while he lies languishing in his hospital bed, McGarrett investigates and finds out it was all Stan’s fault. Steve confronts Rachel and tells her everything Danny has done for her without Danny letting on that Stan is a doofus. Rachel then sends Stan packing and she starts a bedside vigil until Danny wakes up and she sobs on his chest telling him how wrong she was and will he forgive her and take her back! Danny pats her on the back and tells her of course, he never stopped loving her……… OR, alternate ending, he pats her on the back and tells her “honey, I’m over you. See ya around.”
    So, do I think they’ll get back together? Hmmm. Yes, or no. By the way, Officer 808 – YOU ASKED!

  6. jadore says:

    Wow jlopie! I love your thinking. I feel a lot like you do. I’m not sure I want them to get back together…I think it would make Danny “too happy” and I like a temperamental Danny, not so much the anger, but anyway it would change him too much and I have grown to love cocky, opinionated Danny. I’m still waiting to hear why Rachel left him. I’m wouldn’t mind Danny meeting someone else and just when Rachel wants him back, he tells her to hit the road.

    P.S. Ed, I don’t think you want her hooking up with McGarrett. I know he is a Navy Seal but all his specialized training couldn’t save him from what Danny would do to him, e.g. hanging from his b—s to start!

  7. Cecile says:

    The way I see it, Danny and Rachel are too much alike to be together as a couple. I know it’s a terrible cliche, ‘opposites attract’ blablabla, I don’t really subscribe to these boring generalities, each situation is unique. But in this case, I say that’s what it is !

    They both have strong characters, reacting swiftly to criticism and provocation, which they are both good at giving. If none of them can back-off, or laugh at it, it must have lead to terrible arguments. We have a nice glimpse of that with the Danno/McGarrett carguments ! But it seems Steve doesn’t care because :
    a) he’s not a hothead
    b) he’s not interested in Danny the way Rachel was (or is ?) !
    c) he seems to find this attitude amusing (though sometimes a bit nerve-racking), and even teases Danny to see how he’s going to react.

    Some would see this as pride, psychologists would say it’s lack of self-confidence, you pick your choice ! Bottom-line is : what may have attracted them in the first place actually drove them crazy. And they can’t live with each other, but they find themselves missing each other when not together ! But they still love each other, and understand each other perfectly, and would probably be better friends than lovers, as Yanabamenara said.

    That stands as long as Rachel and Danno divorced because they couldn’t stand each other anymore. Adding to that the fact that Danny is a cop, working in a grim environnement, might have not suited Rachel’s idea of the American way of life, and the marriage if off.
    If there’s another more dramatic and traumatic reason for Rachel to leave Danny, the argument is off ^^.

    @Lynette : if my above guess is correct, the general anger of Rachel and Danny could be due to the frustration of not having been able to work things out. Rachel must be pissed of with Danny’s clinging and agressive attitude. And Danny must be, well, sad to have been left ; jealous of Stan for getting Rachel and of Rachel for having moved on so well. And I’m not talking of the obvious desperation at not being with Grace as often as he would like to.

    But as always, these are just conjectures, we know pretty much nothing about their previous relationship : why did they divorce ? Who initiated it ? When was that ?

  8. dee says:

    I am someone who wants them back- hopeless romantic I guess.
    But the show has provided way too many “looks” between the two characters. Is it unsaid things? the reson they broke up? alot of possibilities. Yet I am gonna hold out and hope that Stan turns out to be really involved in some bad deals and Rachel realizes that her true happiness is in the arms of Danno!

  9. norriski says:

    NO – Just say NO to Rachel and Danny! I agree with those above that don’t think they should be together, but I’m good with them coming to the realization that they are better friends than lovers. I do think there are still very strong feelings there, but the two of them are too volatile together.

    I personally think we’ve had some insight into why they are not together. No it hasn’t all been revealed but I think they’ve given us clues that Rachel couldn’t handle being a cop’s wife (the conversation with Steve over Danny being in the killers house backs this up). What we don’t know is if there was a jumping off point, my personal opinion is that at some point Danny was injured on the job and that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Rachel couldn’t stay with someone that she had to worry about everyday he went to work, scared to answer the phone because next time it could be worse. I also think while it wasn’t the most important thing to her she was use to a lifestyle that was a little more posh than a cop could give her so while that would have never been the only reason she left Danny it was just something she could add to her list that made her leaving justified in her mind.

    In the pilot Danny’s comments to Steve make it sound as if (at least at first) when he and Rachel divorced things were at least civil and smooth between then and the real tension didn’t start until she remarried and move his daughter to the “pineapple infested hellhole”…. and we pick up there… I think the writers can allow us to see there relationship heal a little bit for the sake of their daughter; mom and dad can be friends and not fight, mom is remarried and even if Stan is a goof let him be a decent guy and let Danny be the great Dad that he is and maybe start seeing him find someone that he can have a relationship with.

    In closing I once again repeat just say NO to Danny and Rachel!

  10. Becky says:

    I don’t think the writers would get them back together only because if they did, then Danny would have no reason to stay in Hawaii. They would just move back to Jersey and Danny’s family. It doesn’t make sense from a production and storyline standpoint.

  11. dee says:

    yes there are more nays then yeas….I am still gonna hold out hope.!!!!! Just too many “looks” between the two characters IMHO.
    I do agree with norriski- that the convo between Steve and Rachel does make sense to why they may of split. However, I don’t suspect it was Rachel that insisted to move to Hawaii- I think that was more Stan. But they are gonna make us wait on this for sure. No quick scenarios here. Somewhere there was an interview with the actor playing Stan, and he stated that it was unclear to whether the character of Stan was going to be developed as good guy or bad guy??? Sorry tooo many trips to Indoseia for me…for a happy marriage.

  12. dee says:

    sooo after last night episode- Danny seeks out Rachel, not Steve… could mean nothing could mean everything?! Although Matty starts his heart to heart with Danny by saying “I knew you still loved her….”
    I can’t wait for next season already! for I am sure we won’t see Matty again till then. And Danny and Rachel relationship is destin to run at a turtle pace!

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