Mcleod's Daughters: articles

Dustin Clare blooming in McLeod's Daughters and Satisfaction

After trying his luck in Hollywood, Dustin Clare is counting on a blossoming acting career back home with roles in McLeod's Daughters and Satisfaction.

Dustin Clare is awe-struck by his recent good fortune.Whether it's luck or fate, the actor, who wooed female fans of rural drama McLeod's Daughters playing farmer Riley Ward, is in demand.

Having spent the past 12 months attempting to carve a career in Hollywood, Clare has found more success back home. It's a nice paradox, considering he left here because of a lack of opportunity.

The actor is delving into the grim, murderous and bloodthirsty underworld as Christopher "Mr Rent-a-kill" Dale Flannery in the highly anticipated Underbelly prequel, Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities.

He also plays a hunky sex worker in TV series Satisfaction. Clare joins Alison Whyte, Peta Sergeant, Kestie Morassi, Diana Glenn, Bojana Novakovic and Jackie Weaver as Sean, the brother of Mel, the straight-shooting but vulnerable madam (Madeleine West) in Satisfaction.

Viewers were introduced to Sean when he stumbled upon Mel (West) having steamy sex in her apartment.

Most brothers would run away in embarrassment, but Sean took it all in his stride, with the siblings even joking later about him perving on her.

From the outset it cements their friendship and says plenty about the interesting take their parents had on relationships.

"This is something Australia hasn't really touched on before, especially on TV," Clare says of Satisfaction.

"These are high-class sex workers who need to make a living, but also have other lives. Sean is a fun and likable guy who is thrown in among the girls to shake things up. But let's just say he's not always completely aware of the consequences of his actions."

West, who rose to prominence playing Dione Bliss in Neighbours, adds: "I think with sibling relationships you go either of two ways. You either live out of each other's pockets or don't speak. Mel and Sean know each other too well."

Though 30 per cent of men have experienced a brothel or escorts, it's female viewers who have connected most strongly with the characters and storylines of Satisfaction.

In the second series, the writers focus on peeling back the personal rather than the physical layers.

Heather (Sergeant), a lesbian escort, is reeling from a miscarriage and the breakdown of her relationship — and is doing "a terrible job of dealing with it", Sergeant says.

"She's really not taking anything that seriously because she's afraid if she thinks too much about it, all of this stuff is just going to come like a big tsunami," Sergeant adds.

Signs Heather isn't coping surface early in the series when a client asks her to make "house calls" while his wife and kids are away.

"If married men come in (to the brothel) and take their wedding rings off, there's an element of illusion that I think protects both the client and the worker," Sergeant says.

"Heather gets put into this position where that illusion gets shattered. I think because of what's just happened to her, with her own loss, and the kind of things that she really wanted — which was a family and this long-term relationship and this child and a house — everything she's lost gets too much for her."

By Erin McWhirter
December 17, 2008
Herald Sun