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’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