1992 - Unknown Australian Magazine
He used to sell flowers! He’s danced with Melissa! And he’s the newest cop on the E Street block! Strike a pose and meet ... SIMON DENNY!
“I’ve had heaps of jobs. I’ve done modelling, worked on telly commercials, in fact, I think I’ve done just about everything!”
So chirps Simon Lucas Denny, the newest not-very-ugly-bloke to join E Street’s ever-increasing stable of stars. Simon plays Constable Sam Farrell, whose opening scene plonks him right in the middle of an armed holdup. Eek!
“Sam’s a little more serious than Max (i.e. Bruce Samazan’s character), Simon gabs. “Sam feels he has to try and live up to his father’s reputation – his dad was a bit of a legend in the police force – and so he tries hard to follow in his footsteps.”
To prepare himself for the role, Simon even spent a day at the Surry Hills Police Station in Sydney, chatting with the police officers, “just to get a real-life look at what goes on.
“It gave me a whole new perspective,” he blethers. “I went cruising with them around Surry Hills. Sometimes they can go for weeks without any action and then bang! something happens. You never know when it might be.”
On a cheerier note, Si was born in Tasmania on July 30 1969, but left the Apple Isle when he was a wee five weeks old and headed for tropical New Guinea.
“I lived there for a few years but I was really young so I don’t remember it too well. But I did most of my growing up on the north coast of New South Wales, near the beaches.”
So you’re a waxhead, then? “Well, these days I go down for the odd wave, I just don’t get time. I had to make a choice, and it was either surfing or working, especially living in Sydney (where he spends a lot of time with ‘a close friend’).”
Si is the first to admit that he’s a country boy at heart – “My family’s just a humble little country family, haha” – and the first time he came to Sydney it was all too much for him, so he skedaddled back home. Later, he moved on to Queensland, where he prepared for his return to the big smoke.
Back home, Si was known as a ‘hillsman’. Er ... perhaps he’d better explain, hm?!
“When I was young, a mate, Marty, and myself were hillsmen in a town called Lennox. It’s a little beach town with a big hill behind it. All the other guys, the grommets, lived down on the beach, but we lived on the hill, so we were the original hillsmen. Everyone used to call us the hillsmen.”
Ah, so you’re a legend in your own lunchtime, eh?
“Ha! In a little town with about five people in it (slight exaggeration), I doubt it! We used to pick flowers in summer from the gutters and drain pipes and go down to the highway and make a stall up. (Awww!) We’d sell them to tourists for $10 a bunch. (Pah!) We’d make just enough to buy surf stuff, like wax and leg ropes and food, so we could go surfing all day. We did that in the tourist season ‘cos they were dumb enough to buy them. They’d come from Sydney and say, ‘Aren’t these lovely flowers!’ and then buy them, it kept us happy!”
And who would have thought that our Si would go from picking wild bunches of flowers, to performing in pop videos?
“I did the first two Melissa clips,” he chuffs. “I met her the first time round when I was actually just cast as a model, but I got to know the director and we’re great mates now. He was the guy who directed Euphoria’s clip, so I had a little part in that, too. (Si was one of the blokes dancing around with his shirt off, chanting ‘Hold me tight, don’t let go’ etc. Hmmm! – Ed.) I like that work. I also help out with the production side of things. It keeps my mind going.”
And even though he’s performed in a few choice vids, Si has no intention whatsoever of making beautiful music of his own.
“I’ll leave it to the artists. It’s an art. There’s so many people out there that are born with this talent and who nurture it for years and years, but they’re shunned by society because they’re musos. They’re living a pretty desolate existence and they’re living for their music, and they’re never discovered. So I think it’s a bit unfair to get it so easily. But good on you if you’re like Melissa or someone and you get the opportunity to do it. I just don’t think I’ll be venturing into that field.”
It was, however, Mr Denny’s performance in these videos that caught the attention of Forrest Redlich (E Street’s producer), who asked Simon to do a screen test for him.
“It wasn’t for anything in particular, just for the record. But he liked my screen test and came up with the part of Sam for me.”
Smiling Simon is often complimented on his pearly whites and even admits that it (his smile, that is) has got him through some pretty rough spots .... remaining text not readable, something about toothpaste! ...