Dotchin Lays Down The Law - TV Guide (New Zealand) - 2000 (August 25)
The high-res magazine scans are from Bryn.
Cover headline: Dochin Delights In Lawless Life
Dotchin lays down the law
"I'm on holiday!"
It is an emphatic but good-natured answer to the question of exactly what Angie Dotchin is doing in Sydney. Is it simply rest'n'relaxation or is the 26-year-old there on business?
After all, looking for work in Australia might be the next logical step for the former Shortland Street star whose six years as receptionist Kirsty Knight made her one of New Zealand's favourite actresses.
Dotchin is not saying what her plans for the future are but, having worked pretty much continuously since farewelling Kirsty, she wanted nothing more than a holiday.
That the last two years have been so busy for Dotchin might come as a surprise to some New Zealanders. Until recently, she had only been seen in the home-grown TV2 two-part drama Lawless. She played the fearless would-be police officer Jodie Keane, a role which won her a best actress award at last year's TV Guide New Zealand Television Awards.
This week (September 7), TV2 screens the second installment of Lawless, which sees Dotchin reunited with Kevin Smith. He plays the renegade ex-undercover cop John Lawless, who can't escape Jodie's passion for solving seemingly unsolvable cases.
In Lawless 2, Jodie convinces John to come out of retirement to help a woman who believes her husband was wrongly imprisoned for murder. Clever detective work leads them to another man who might be the killer and Jodie - not surprisingly - finds herself up to her neck in trouble.
Shooting the new series may have meant spending nearly six weeks outdoors in mid-winter, but Dotchin says she hardly noticed the cold. She was simply too busy concentration on turning in another potentially award-winning performance. Besides, she says, so much location work makes the series look more real.
"I really like Jodie because she's such a gutsy, streetwise young New Zealand woman," says Dotchin. "I think she's very inspiring."
But, equally, Dotchin feels proud that Jodie is a character who makes mistakes. This, she says, provide valuable lessons.
"Jodie lands herself in a really terrible situation and undergoes an awful experience no young woman should have to," she says, "but I think it's educational because it spells out clearly that you shouldn't step outside your boundaries and put yourself in risky situations."
Having made one Lawless, Dotchin says it was easy to step back into Jodie's shoes. Knowing that the first installment received good ratings as well as critical acclaim made it easier to concentrate on getting the job done without niggling doubts about whether she was making quality television for an audience of... not many.
"We all sort of picked up from where we'd left off," she says, "and Kevin is a pleasure to work with. He's a brilliant actor."
The only other thing she might have been nervous about was working with US actor C. Thomas Howell, a former teen star who made his name in movies like The Outsider, which Dotchin watched as a teenager. But, she says, Howell was down-to-earth and a delight to work with.
Not that she is a stranger to working with American actors and crews. Since leaving Shortland Street she has appeared in two Pacific Renaissance co-productions, Jack Of All Trades and Young Hercules (TV3 Saturdy afternoons).
In Young Hercules, she plays a feisty tavern owner and in Jack Of All Trades, she had the lead role as the fictional British master spy Amelia Rothchild. Jack Of All Trades is set in the Victorian era, which meant dressing up in bustles and crinolines - except when Ms Rothchild went from gentile Victorian lady to super sleuth. That entailed a change into a black catsuit.
"I had great fun working on those shows - it was basically running round being big kids," she says, "and I can now do very good British and American accents!"
She says she never dared dream what might follow when she left Shortland Street. "I don't regret staying so long on Shortland Street because, for me, it was like spending six years at university," she says. "I just learnt so much and it gave me a strong introduction for what was to follow. The variety of characters I've played means I haven't been able to do 'autopilot acting' - they've really tested me.
"There are a few things in the pipeline but I can't say - I guess it's just a case of watch this space..."