Easy Rider

28 June 2012 | 2:49 pm | Dave Drayton

Matt Nable talks to Dave Drayton about his journey from postie bike to purring Harley.

Bikie Wars.

Bikie Wars.

With Channel 10's latest primetime delivery, a motor cycle-riddled mini-series based on the Milperra massacre – seven dead as a result of a bloody feud between the Bandidos and the Comanchero motorcycle clubs on Father's Day, Sunday 2 September 1984 – titled Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms wrapped up a few week's ago, actor Matt Nable was, among other things, not heavily tattooed, and certainly not sporting a moustache.

These may seem like negligible observations, but this image of Nable is in stark contrast to the one he portrayed while inhabiting the character of Scottish ex-pat William 'Jock' Ross, Supreme Commander of the Comancheros, for Bikie Wars. With the release of the mini-series on DVD and Blu-ray 'round the corner, it seemed fitting that Nable cast his mind back to what it was like to be Jock for the camera.

“It was a little easier than I anticipated to part ways with the character,” Nable recalls, “because the preparation was fairly intensive – I guess I tried to build the character over a period of time before we started shooting – and by the end of it I was more than ready to let it go. I remember the day we finished, I got clearance at 10 o'clock the next morning to shave my moustache and get my hair cut, so the first thing I did was just aesthetically change back to, well, anything other than what I looked like doing it.

“But it wasn't the case while I was doing it,” says Nable. “There were moments there where it could take control of you a little bit, but with this one I didn't have a great deal of trouble throwing it off. I couldn't wait to do it. I was covered in tattoos, and that moustache... I was really ready to leave it behind, so to look at yourself in the mirror the next day with none of that stuff on, it made it a lot easier to just move forward.”

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Given the pride, violence and volatile power of his character, it's unsurprising that Jock presented an intriguing challenge for Nable. But getting into character as Jock was made a little easier when Nable – who had previously only ridden a postie bike – bit the bullet and hopped on a real hog.

“I wasn't the most confident of riders amongst all the guys,” Nable readily admits before continuing, “They're big bikes, and you know, no helmet and you're going pretty quick – or quick enough to do an unprotected head a lot of damage, so I was always really aware of that.

“But you know, in saying that, I can also see the appeal of riding. There were a couple of days where we spent the whole day riding, and as 'the president' I was out in front of 15 or 20 bikes and there's not a lot of acting that goes on there. When you can hear the 20 Harleys behind you, you sort of feel like you could be king of the world. When you're out in front of 20 guys and you're leading them and they're all following you, it doesn't take much to take that on board and feel it; it was very helpful in acquiring the character.”

Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms DVD & Blu Ray Out Now