Matthew Le Nevez plays Peter Brock in the mini-series Brock. Supplied by Channel 10.
Matthew Le Nevez plays Peter Brock in the mini-series Brock. Supplied by Channel 10.

Brock mini-series will get hearts racing

HIS first visit to Mount Panorama was an eye-opening experience for Matt Le Nevez.

The actor made the trip to Australia's motor sport mecca last year to prepare for one of the biggest roles of his career so far: portraying touring car legend and 'The King of the Mountain' Peter Brock.

"I have a couple of motorbikes and I love cars, but to be able to learn first-hand about the skills of these men who can handle these cars around the racetrack is amazing," Le Nevez tells APN's The Guide.

"I could never fully appreciate it until I jumped on board. These guys are piloting cars over 200km an hour down a mountain, making split decisions in less than 0.1 of a second. They're life and death decisions. It's an amazing thing to watch. If you go to Bathurst, it's an eye-opener.

Matthew Le Nevez stars are Peter Brock in the mini-series Brock.
Matthew Le Nevez stars are Peter Brock in the mini-series Brock. Channel 10

"I was really struck by the tribal nature of the race. The passion the fans have for their favourite drivers or manufacturers is something a lot of Australians can relate to. But I also saw the generosity and kindness of people involved in motor sport. It was a really familial atmosphere and they accepted me with open arms."

Ten's two-part biopic of the Holden hero charts not only the ups and downs of his illustrious racing career but also his tumultuous love life.

Kirsty Lee Allan, Ella Scott Lynch and Natalie Bassingthwaighte play Brock's three loves: Miss Australia Michelle Downes, Beverly 'Bev' McIntosh and Julie Bamford, respectively.

"I love the way that Peter and Bev's relationship's been portrayed. I hope Bev's proud of the work Ella's done," he says.

"I think it's the heart of much of our film. He spent the majority of his life with Bev and it's a relationship I really wanted to respect and represent in a really beautiful way."

Matt Le Nevez and Ella Scott Lynch in a scene from the TV mini-series Brock. Supplied by Channel 10.
Matt Le Nevez and Ella Scott Lynch in a scene from the TV mini-series Brock. Supplied by Channel 10.

Alongside Brock's family, his fans were always at the forefront of the actor's mind.

"What was really daunting (about the role) is obviously a lot of people who love Peter and are very close to him and protective of him," Le Nevez says.

"But Geoff (Bennett, the director) set me free in a way. He said, 'We don't want to impersonate anyone and cheapen his story.'

"We decided to work from the inside out and get the essence of the man who conquered not only a mountain but a nation. I feel like that's come through. I want people to fall in love with what he did and achieved and worked for.

"Our choice was to have an energetic, bold look at who this man was and try to bring that to life with compassion and love. I hope the true fans are proud."

Brock airs tomorrow at 8.30pm and Monday at 9pm on Channel 10.
 



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