Le Nevez had shied away from series roles and his focus was on Pilot season in the US when producers called. He now pursues US opportunities during production breaks on the TEN series.
“When I signed on to do this that was always the rub. My American agent didn’t want me to do it and my Australian agent did. But I think it was the right decision to do it,” he said.
“It’s been a good show for my career and profile.
“I’ve steered away from series television for a long time. There weren’t many series a few years ago that I thought were really fantastic. The Secret Life of Us was one, Love My Way was another, and a few that pop up on the ABC I suppose.
“I’d done miniseries like Marking Time or Society Murders, which tested me creatively in my career. I was attached to a film called The Tender Hook and we were waiting on funding for that for a number of years.
“I did the pilot for what was Rapid Response, which became Rush. When John (Edwards) came knocking again I was on my way back to Los Angeles. He said ‘Look, there’s a character we’re thinking of writing for you, would you be interested?’ As soon as he said it was with Asher (Keddie) and John, the idea that it was a series wasn’t an issue.
“Whether it’s made me a star or not …it’s a popular show. It’s not as popular as some but y’know…”
Offspring is now one of TEN’s shining stars, already guaranteed a fifth season in 2014. Le Nevez has seen his popularity rise by playing opposite Asher Keddie, sometimes emoting through his piercing eyes more than actual dialogue.
“I don’t know if the writers decided I mumble too much and I can’t speak!” he laughs.
“But Nina is a tornado, that energy is so strong that you’re watching Ash go through such highs and lows. She’s driving that strong voice-over that when it comes to working alongside it that I tried to make it subtle and yet support her.
“Television is not a medium that’s strong in its embracing of subtext. We’ve got writers on this show that write across all mediums so were fortunate that there’s a lot going on for these characters.”
Working opposite Keddie when she pauses for voice-overs and fantasy moments is an art unto itself.
“If we were being realistic, she’d be insane. If you had a friend who was doing that on the street you’d think she was mad. But when it comes to the life of this show there’s such a veracity of high comedy and straight drama that you can find subtlety within it,” Le Nevez explains.
“You can get away with blue murder in those (fantasy scenes). There’s no rules. They’re a godsend for some actors.”
This season Nina and Patrick face a maturing of their relationship, ahead of the birth of a new baby.
“Some of their past gets brought up, the closer they get to the birth. His character had a tragic past and once he gets closer to the due date a lot of that comes back up,” he says.
“There’s the usual things couples go through when they’re struggling to commit to each other. And when you set that in amongst the Proudmans there’s a lot of comedy there. We’re very fortunate to have people like Garry, Linda, Lachy, Deb… it’s quite incredible the cast they’ve put together.
“It’s not easy coming to work with another actor and working through through break-up material. So we made a conscious choice to not break them up like that this year.
“And Patrick’s relationship with Clegg gets tested.”
But he also tips a guest appearance that will have fans talking, giving TV Tonight a few tell-tale clues as to their identity.
“Patrick’s father might pop in at some point. We were very lucky to snag an incredible actor, I think who hasn’t been seen on too much mainstream TV,” he says.
“He was in a very interesting film in the 1990s that did very well. He’s been around for years but the one thing that everyone knows him about was in the ’90s. It’s a left-field choice but I can’t believe how well it’s turned out. It’s fantastic.”
Le Nevez also confirmed he will appear in an unnamed ABC telemovie to be filmed in Queensland before Offspring begins shooting once more. likely to be in October.
Offspring airs 8:30pm Wednesday on TEN.