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Published:August 12th, 2011 15:33 EST

Rachael Carpani Talks Lifetime's Against the Wall

By Paulette Cohn

Aussie actress Rachael Carpani, who is best known for her role as Jodi on McLeod`s Daughters, says she was attracted to the role of Abby Kowalski in Lifetime Television`s Against the Wall, because the two women share a trait: lack of coordination.


"In one of the first scenes, she trips and drops all of her stuff and tries to cover for herself. And I just went, `Oh my goodness, I just did that.` My friend at the time looked at me and said, `Wow, you won`t even have to act for this role,`" Carpani says with a laugh.


Against the Wall is the story of a family in which the father, his three sons and daughter are all members of the Chicago police department. But in her hurry to rise in the ranks, become a detective and get off of patrol, Abby causes a rift within her close knit, blue-collar family of cops by joining the department`s Internal Affairs division: a big no-no in her family. So big, in fact, that her father (Treat Williams) stops speaking to her. Against the Wall also stars Kathy Baker, Marisa Ramirez, Brandon Quinn, Steve Byers, Chris Johnson, James Thomas and Andrew Walker

In this interview, Carpani talks to us about all things Against the Wall, which airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on Lifetime Television. Read on.

Can you give us a little bit of a backstory how this part came about for you?

I did receive the script and I read it. Actually, I think I got it a little late. I was in Miami at the time and I sent a tape. I remember getting on the phone and saying to my manager, "Please, get me on it." I thought I could have fun with it. I went out to L.A. and they were nice enough to give it to me.

Can you talk about the ways that you are like Abby and the ways that you are different than her?

Unfortunately, I tend to be quite similar to her in terms of her lack of coordination skills. For instance, walking into doors, and things like that.  I think I have a little bit of the stubbornness and strong will that Abby has, but that is where the similarities end, except I am very close to my mother, who is in Sydney.  She has this remarkable ability to avoid things. She doesn`t feel she is ready for a relationship and, in terms of her career, she will dive head first into that and deal with the consequences when they happen. I am much more of a planner.

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What interested you the most about playing Abby?

I`m not as silly as Abby, let`s hope, anyway, but I do bump into walls. I just walk toward them from a distance, and I just walk straight into them. That is pretty much what I do. So, that I found really cute about her, that she basically has the inability to hide her flaws from the world and just attempts to cover them once they pop out.

And I love the way the dialogue was written. She`s one of those people where her mouth moves too fast for her brain, so she always ends up putting her foot in her mouth or saying something inappropriate. I thought would be quite funny.

If you weren`t an actress, would you pursue a job in law enforcement?

No, I would be hopeless.

Did you do any background work with the police for this role?

I spoke to a few people, and I actually got to speak to a woman who was a patrol cop and did go into IA at quite a young age, in her early 30s, the same as Abby. So, I got her side of things. She basically said it`s a hard job.

Can you talk a little bit about Abby`s love life?

What can I say?  She keeps me on my toes.  That`s for sure.  I think the way I`ve worked out how to play her with her inability to commit and her liking of the booty call is basically she`s grown up with these amazing men, who she greatly respects.  And truly, I think, her father is the love of her life.  And, I think, deep down she knows that no man can really measure up to him just yet.  So, I think, she`s reluctant to give any of them a go in that way in a relationship.  So I think [the booty call] is where she feels safe -- just having fun at this point.

Why will people want to watch Against the Wall?

It`s the characters that will draw in the viewers. They all have a distinct personality. I loved that the creator wrote a family that is so loving and close, but at the same time can be the worst people in your life.