Nicole Chamoun marks her return to TV in the gritty ABC drama Troppo

Nicole Chamoun

• She stars alongside American actor Thomas Jane

Australian actor Nicole Chamoun is back on screens in the ABC crime-drama-thriller Troppo, set in the wild tropics of Far North Queensland.

She plays Amanda Pharrell, an ex-con-turned-private investigator with a dark past, who teams up with disgraced former cop Ted Conkaffey – played by American actor Thomas Jane. Together they investigate the mysterious disappearance of a Korean family man and tech pioneer in the small community.

The eight-part series, based on the New York Times bestselling novel, Crimson Lake, by author Candice Fox, made its debut on Sunday, on ABC TV, and is also available to stream on ABC iView.

Chamoun told Mediaweek she was excited for Troppo to finally hit the screens after filming wrapped in October last year.

Nicole Chamoun and Thomas Jane

Nicole Chamoun and Thomas Jane

She said: “It’s been nice that we haven’t had to wait too long. I’m really proud of this project.”

Chamoun, whose previous work includes Romper StomperSafe Harbour and On the Ropes, shared that she was attracted to the script because of her character Amanda, whom she described as very complex.

“It’s a dream to play a character that has so many levels and facets to her. I also think just timing. I don’t think I could have played Amanda 12 months prior. I had to go through what I went through to get to her. I just felt Kismet. It just felt right,” referring to her lymphoma diagnosis and chemotherapy treatment, which she said she finished just two months before starting the role.

She continued: “(Amanda is) flawed, but I think at the core Amanda is a vulnerable child who has been through some really heavy trauma at a very early age. I think I have grit; I have a strength in me. Certainly now.”

Chamoun stars alongside Jane whose work includes Boogie Nights, Deep Blue Sea and The Punisher.

Troppo stars

She heaped praised on the seasoned actor and said of their on-screen partnership: “I wanted to make sure that I was bringing my A-game and that I honoured their relationships in our personal relationships as well because Amanda is not intimidated by Ted. She holds her own. It was important to me that they were equal in their partnership and that it wasn’t like a father-daughter relationship or that he was her mentor.”

Chamoun explained that she and her co-star also had a similar approach to their characters in that they did not spend much time getting to know each other on a personal level.

“That doesn’t make sense for these two characters. There is a distance between them, like oil and water, and it doesn’t mix. But it’s interesting to watch. There is something about the fact that they are both deeply flawed and broken, and essentially running away from something, that’s the best way they connect.

“It was interesting and great to work with him and watch him work. He’s incredible, and I learned so much just about the technicality of the craft by watching him,” she added of her co-star.

Troppo stars

And while the thought of filming around Far North Queensland and acting out intense scenes may have one feeling sticky and bothered, the series was filmed on the Gold Coast – a credit to the production team and director of photography for the attention to detail of their location and set.

Chamoun said: “The Gold Coast is so incredible; I had no idea some of these locations ever existed. You think about the Gold Coast; you think about paradise, but there are these gorgeous hinterlands and cane fields not too far out of the city.”

While there is no word on the second season of Troppo, Chamoun said she would be ready to step back into the role of Amanda and the world of Crimson Lake: “One season doesn’t give you the opportunity to fully delve in and explore the lives of these characters you’re just skimming the surface after eight episodes.

Troppo stars

“This is where I think Australia gives up too soon on giving a series a chance to find its feet. That’s why American shows have seasons to really explore and dissect, and you get a chance to marinate in the life of the character. We’re hopeful. So, we’ll see,” she said, noting the so much more can be explored as the original novel is part of a trilogy.

“(Troppo) is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on Australian television. It feels new and exciting and interesting. The world of Far North Queensland, it’s the first time I’ve seen it represented on the screen, which I think is exciting and that people will enjoy and want more,” she added.

Chamoun added that she hopes Troppo finds its audience and gets the multitude of viewers it deserves.

Troppo airs on Sunday, February 27 at 8:30 on ABC, and all episodes are available to watch on ABC iView.

Troppo stars

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