Matt Passmore was second-time lucky
SOME Aussie actors spend years trying to break into the US market, but Matt Passmore was second-time lucky.
The McLeod's Daughters favourite looked set to make his big break in Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring's new series Masterwork back in 2009.
But when the pilot went nowhere the A&E channel snapped up the 37-year-old for the lead role in their new cop series The Glades.
The swamps of south Florida and Miami's sprawling metropolis are a long way from Queensland, but the Brisbane native is enjoying his new home away from home.
"It's very eclectic, beautiful, and very, very absurdly charming - not boring in the least," he said.
"It's one of those places you can eat at a different place every single night. The thing I love about it is that real South American culture coming through. For someone who grew up in Brisbane and had no real Latin American influence in my life, that has been an absolute gift."
Passmore said it's no surprise a wave of dramas including Dexter, CSI Miami and The Glades have been set in the region.
"The actual place lends itself to amazing stories," he said.
"So, with shows like Dexter, for example, more serial killers have come out of Florida than any other state. That's very comforting when you're filming in the swamp at night.
"Then on the other side of that you've got stories like Scarface. The culture down there is like a mix mash of cultures. It's so eclectic. There are people from all around the world."
When he returned to Miami earlier this year to film the second series of The Glades, Passmore said he made more of an effort to get to know the city.
"While the show is on it's incredibly difficult to do anything but the show," he said.
"I remember coming away from series one going 'wow' I didn't do anything'. I was just exhausted all the time."
But exhaustion is nothing a Cuban coffee can't fix.
"When I was getting really tired, either the doctor would come around to give me shot of B12 in the ass or someone would hand me a Cuban coffee," he laughed.
"This time I forced myself to go to different restaurants and go see Latin American artists when they were in town."
He said the second series, currently airing in Australia on pay-TV channel W, explores some darker storylines.
"Going back to series two was interesting," he said. "The first series was very much a teething period.
"This series does start off quite darker. We really get stuck into the Cuban mob and as we pay respect to those things they really progress. But then we get back to the lightness and absurdity of Florida."
Passmore's character Jim also gets to see more action this series.
"I get to have a bit more fun and run around a bit more," he said.
"I get to run around a lot more, and while Jim's running he can't talk so it gives him a break and gives me a break. And I got to do a bit of stunt driving."