Stephen Curry. Picture: Supplied

It may be called Fat Tony & Co but the drama series is just as much about Det-Sgt Jim Coghlan.

Played by Stephen Curry, not only is Coghlan the narrator but he was one of the two Australian cops on the scene in Greece when Tony "Fat Tony" Mokbel (Robert Mammone) was caught in 2007 after escaping the country during his trial in 2006.

"My character is a guy who has spent about 10 years chasing Tony and it's become quite a bit of an obsession for him," Curry said while on a break during filming the Nine show in Melbourne last year.

"He ended up going over to Athens to try and track him down, so he was very instrumental in the whole storyline (which plays out this week as Mokbel tries to organise passage to Greece).

"Filming that was first up. We went over there for a week. We went over there with Richard Cawthorne who plays Federal agent Jarrod Ragg and Robert of course.

"We filmed in various places where it actually happened.

"It was great to go there and get a sense of where he was and even the light over there is different. As a visual component it's such a beautiful juxtaposition.

"We ran into a lot of Aussies while we were over there and it was amazing because they were so excited because they knew the story and knew why we were there."

A member of the Victoria Police drug squad, Coghlan was more interested in bank statements than arrest warrants. He had the meticulous, industrious mindset needed to follow the maze of criminal assets and finances, which resulted in millions of Mokbel's assets being seized as proceeds of crime. Produced by Screentime, the same production company behind the Underbelly juggernaut, Fat Tony & Co. is a stand-alone series, however many of the actors in the original Underbelly series returned to their roles.

"It was pretty great for Gyton (Grantley) to come back and explore Carl (Williams) as well as Les Hill as Jason Moran," Curry explained.

"We were kind of the new kids. I didn't get my head flushed down the toilet though which is good. We felt like we were part of the team from the start."

Another new kid on the block was fellow cop and Curry's Time of Our Lives co-star Shane Jacobson who plays his boss, Det-Insp. Jim O'Brien.

"Working with Shane is great," said Curry, who is currently filming season two of the ABC1 show in Melbourne.

"There is a lot of procedural stuff we have to get through and heavy drama stuff, so when the cameras aren't rolling it's very important to keep it light and have a laugh.

"He is a good egg. He's a great bloke and a fantastic actor and he's also hilarious and makes you realise while you are doing a pretty serious job filming these scenes it's important to have fun.

"I don't often get to take on roles where people take me seriously and I don't often get to have any sort of power, I usually play doofuses."

Curry has taken particular caution with his role given he is playing a character based on a living person.

"You don't want them to watch it and think you've done a terrible job portraying them," he said.

"Apart from the very high-profile gangsters like Tony Mokbel - about 95 per cent of people watching the show know what he looks like - but for those of us playing the cops no one knows what they look like so we've made the conscious decision to play them as characters.

"It's easier because I'm playing one of the good guys. Someone who's very noble, very respected, a dedicated, hard-working professional so hopefully that comes across and he thinks some sort of justice has been done."

Holly Richards visited Melbourne as a guest of Nine.

The West Australian

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