Trailer: Rake Series 3
Cleaver Greene languishes in prison surrounded by enemies and friends. Many former colleagues from Macquarie St and the bench are also inside, courtesy of corruption scandalsPT0M29S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-31mf0 620 349 January 29, 2014
Cleaver Greene is a magnet for mischief in the ABC's acclaimed dramedy Rake. Richard Roxburgh, who co-created the drama and plays the rogue barrister, wouldn't have it any other way.
The opening episode of the new season of Rake is a radical departure.
We were worried at the beginning about taking Cleaver out of the environment that everyone is used to seeing him in. There are such bonuses to doing that we found; you can have some fun in terms of the tone and inviting other characters into the mix.
Outsider: Richard Roxburgh.
Presumably, though, Cleaver does return to his regular haunts of courts, bars and bedrooms?
Without giving too much away he does find himself back out in the world, although being Cleaver it's not the path you expect him to pursue. What is terrific in this season is he gets out into a completely different world.
We're not accustomed to having the so-called pillars of society depicted in the way they are in Rake.
The moral dilemmas that someone like Cleaver would face interest us. He's not a moron and he's not an insensitive soul. He's an extremely sensitive beast, he's just a bit f---ed up and he's addicted to everything.
What interested us a lot in season three is: Can somebody like Cleaver Greene change? If you take someone out of their environment and they don't have the normal things to rely on to distract them constantly, which in Cleaver's case he's addicted to, what happens?
Appalling though he sometimes is, Cleaver would be a fun person to be with.
He stirs the pot and we need those people in civilisation or it would be very very dull. Cleaver, if you love or loathe him, is someone who says what he thinks and he's erudite. He's not a person with moronic opinions. He's highly subjective because he's a narcissistic person, but he is fascinating.
He also has considerable empathy.
He's a fellow with vast reserves of feeling. One of his great problems is he can't stop loving the people he loves. In a sense he loves people too much. Every woman he has ever loved he has loved too much. He loves them in his way and in an incredibly unhealthy way for all concerned, but he is capable of great love. Whether he is capable of enduring and mature love is something we also want to tease out in season three.
Are there parallels between Cleaver the criminal barrister and Richard Roxburgh the actor?
Cleaver is in a sense an outsider. Working as an actor in Sydney you come up against the old-school-tie environment. There is a door through which you will not pass because you grew up on the Hume Highway in Albury-Wodonga.
Cleaver's language has a lovely vernacular.
It's a homage to an older Australia when you hear Cleaver say ''what the blue blazers'' or ''what the Dickens is going on here''. I think there's a strong attachment to that older, powerful Australian vernacular that existed in previous generations before the infiltration of MTV.
How closely involved are you with the scripts?
We confer on absolutely everything. That's why seasons are so far apart. It's not ideal that you watch it every two years. We have two writers [Peter Duncan and Andrew Knight] on board and the conferencing process takes a long time. It was harder this time because Peter has been in America the whole year working on the American series. That incredibly important person I could call in previous seasons wasn't there, so a lot of those brush fires I had to deal with myself. That was an interesting maturation for me as well.
Rake (season three) returns to ABC1 on Sunday, February 9 at 8.30pm.