Mint Swindle show has bite
Mint Swindle show has bite

Here is an exclusive first look at the most violent and gruesome scene from Nine's much-anticipated WA-filmed telemovie The Great Mint Swindle, which tells the real-life story of Ray and Peter Mickelberg and their wrongful conviction for the 1982 Perth Mint robbery.

During Ray's eight years inside Fremantle Prison, before the Court of Criminal appeal quashed his conviction and he was released, he was involved in some serious inmate fights, one of which saw him dramatically lose a finger.

In the scene depicted above, it shows Grant Bowler portraying Ray in a brutal exercise yard fight, which saw former boxer Eddie Jones (played by Perth actor Troy Coward, right) bite off his finger, spit it out and then flush it down the toilet.

It was filmed on location at Fremantle Prison and Coward told AAA it was "an interesting scene to shoot" as the setting made it feel very realistic.

"We ended up getting into this bloody fight and I bite the lead character's finger off. So I had this prosthetic finger in my mouth and I had to spit it out and was covered in blood and whatnot," Coward said.

To get into character the 30-year-old Kalamunda resident, who has had boxing experience alongside the likes of Danny Green, had to shave his head, was given fake tattoos and a 20cm hair extension "for a bit of a mullet".

Coward moved to Perth from Sydney when he was three and runs a Northbridge renovation business when he isn't acting.

He said he was surprised by the amount of people he met who had a lot of insider information about the Mickelberg saga.

"I have hired a roofing guy who went to Fremantle Prison and the fight that we filmed actually broke out right in front of him and the finger was spat out right near this guy's feet," he said.

"And I got talking to this guy who is renting my *East Perth *unit and I said, 'Excuse myself with the mullet and the tattoos,' and I explained to him we were doing this Mickelberg heist movie.

"We got to talking about Eddie Jones and it was weird because this guy used to box with him. So I got a lot of information about the character profile from him and learnt everything from this guy's own experiences sparring with Eddie and actually knowing him.

"It was a very interesting role to play.

"I have always wanted to play a bad guy, so hopefully I will do it justice."

The West Australian

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