Angie's Street Scare: 'My fear was all too real' - Woman's Day (New Zealand) - 2000 (September 4)

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This article is from the New Zealand magazine Woman's Day, dated September 4, 2000, featuring Angela Marie Dotchin and mentioning Kevin Smith.

The high-res magazine scans are from Bryn.

Cover headline: Reality Bites: Tragedy haunts tough Angie

Angie's Street Scare: 'My fear was all too real'

      During filming of her new TV drama, Angie Dotchin was haunted by the tragic murder of Auckland journalist Kylie Jones.
      As her attacker's hand closed around her throat, all Angie Dotchin could think about was the brutal murder of young journalist Kylie Jones.
      But Angie knew she would survive. Her frightening ordeal, in an Auckland, street, was being filmed for new TV drama Lawless: Dead Evidence, and her would-be murderer was an actor.
      "The scene was filmed only a short time after Kylie was killed," says Angie. "I kept thinking about her, what she had been through and how vulnerable women are. You can't let your guard down for a minute. When she was murdered, I started to question how safe we are. I would certainly think twice about going out on my own at night."
      After the success of the original Lawless, which screened last year, Angie, 26, teamed up with hunky actor and friend Kevin Smith, 37, who plays former maverick undercover cop John Lawless in the sequel, Dead Evidence, which screens on TV2 on September 7.
      Unwinding in Sydney on a rare holiday, hard-working Angie says her long-time partner and fellow star Temuera Morrison helped her cope with the more grueling scenes for her feisty private investigator character, Jodie Keane.
      "I felt pretty frightened during the bit where I was attacked, although it helped that the attacker was a good friend of mine, Andrew Binns, who worked with me on Shortland Street and is a lovely person," Angie says. "Even so, I felt very intimidated."
      Kylie's killer, Taffy Hotene, was recently jailed for life. The career criminal admitted to murdering Kylie as she walked home from work through the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes. The crime shocked and terrified women all over New Zealand - including Angie.
      "It could have been anyone that evening when Kylie was killed. It could have been me, any woman, and that's scary," Angie says quietly.
      Although the violence in Lawless was carefully staged, Angie did end up bruised and bashed during the demanding shoot.
      "The storylines are raw and very real," Angie says. The kind of thing featured in Lawless can happen, so the action had to be real and I get whacked about quite a bit.
      "The bruises were worth it to get the right impact on screen. Faked action never looks as convincing. I wanted to give realism, to give respect to people who really go through things like this and show how awful it is. There had to be no glamour.
      "However, there was also a strong emotional element and I sometimes took the feeling home with me."
      After working with Kevin on the original Lawless feature, Angie was thrilled to be back at his side. "We work well together," she says. "He's a wonderful, versatile actor and a great person. From Shakespeare to comedy to gritty thrillers, Kevin can do them all."
      The first Lawless aired to a huge audience and critical acclaim, winning five trophies at the New Zealand TV Awards 1999, including the best actress award for Angie and the top overall prize for drama.
      Lawless: Dead Evidence is set a year after Jodie and Lawless meet. Jodie is working as a secretary in a private investigator's firm. When her boss turns down a seemingly hopeless case, Jodie picks it up and tracks down Lawless for help. She finds him working as a bouncer in a seedy bar and persuades him to take on the tough case, which revolves around a young woman who believes her husband has been wrongly jailed for the murder of a girl five years earlier.
      When Lawless learns his old boss, who stitched him up when he was a cop, is involved, he sees it as a chance to get even.
      The body count grows, and so does the danger for Jodie, who attempts to trap the real killer by acting as bait.
      "Of all the characters I've played, Jodie is the closest to the real me," Angie says. "She's feisty, fearless, streetwise, strong-willed and simply refuses to give up on anything. The combination is really appealing.
      "I feel I understand her. It's great to play a strong woman character. She’s definitely no damsel-in-distress, which is refreshing.
      "In the first Lawless, Jodie wanted to become a cop but was too much of a wild card. In Dead Evidence, Jodie doesn't quite realise what she's let herself in for. She starts off as the hunter and ends up being hunted.
      "As an actor, Dead Evidence really pushed me. It's a great script, really believable, with lots of action and suspense - just what I like to watch myself."
      Kevin also jumped at the chance to work with Angie again.
      "The relationship between Jodie and Lawless is more central to this second telefeature, so we worked together more," he says. "She's a blast to work with, and knows the business so well, much better than me."
      The sexy electricity between Jodie and Lawless keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, waiting to see if the crimebusting duo ends up in a hot romance. But Angie refuses to spill the beans about the tense will-they-won't-they situation.
      "All I can say is watch the show, and wait and see," laughs Angie. "There's a real spark of attraction between them, but my lips are sealed. It's going to be interesting. There's more to come."

      Story: Sharon Course

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