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Mystery Road's Aaron Pedersen reflects on his latest TV role - and life with his brother

'I'm really blessed!'

He's been a familiar face on our TV screens for 25 years. Always there, but rarely the centre of attention.
Now, Aaron Pedersen is the lead in ABC drama Mystery Road. It's a big deal for the 47-year-old actor and he knows it.
But he doesn't like thinking about the significance of playing Detective Jay Swan, in career terms.
Aaron admits he doesn't give such things "much weight".
"To me, if this is the biggest moment of it [his career], then I'll love it, cherish it and be grateful for it," he explains to TV WEEK.
"But it's still a part of the jigsaw puzzle of the journey. It's part of the same creature. I'm a blackfella storyteller. I have to continue doing the same thing."
Aaron says if Mystery Road is the biggest part of his career, he'll be "grateful."
That seems as good a career goal as any for the guy who shot to fame in cop shows such as City Homicide, Wildside and Water Rats.
This year, Aaron has been nominated for a TV WEEK Logie Award for Most Outstanding Supporting Actor. It's for his portrayal of Frank Gibbs, an Indigenous war veteran in season five of period drama A Place To Call Home.
Soon, he'll reprise his role as Cam Delray in the ABC's Jack Irish. He relishes working with Aussie legends Guy Pearce and Roy Billing in the series.
Aaron is due to return to his role as Cam in Jack Irish soon, where he stars alongside Guy Pearce (far left) and Roy Billing.
And speaking of amazing co-stars, he can't speak highly enough of the people he gets to "dance with" in Mystery Road. People such as Tasma Walton, Madeleine Madden and, of course, Judy Davis.
Judy plays local cop Emma James, and Aaron is chuffed to be working with someone he regards as Hollywood royalty.
"To get Judy Davis, that's my Marlon Brando moment," he laughs. "I don't know if she would like that!"
Mystery Road is Judy's first Australian TV role since the 1980 drama Water Under The Bridge.
And there's been plenty of that since then, with the actress starring in several US films and scoring Oscar nominations for 1984's A Passage To India and 1992's Husbands And Wives.
"Judy really believed in this project [Mystery Road]," Aaron says. "And that tells me we've hit the mark; this has momentum."
Aaron is thrilled to be working with iconic Australian actress Judy Davis.
This is Aaron's third outing as Jay Swan, having appeared in the films Mystery Road (2013) and Goldstone (2016), "I'm really blessed to be doing this," he says. "I can't thank people enough."
Aaron had a difficult childhood. He grew up in Alice Springs and was in and out of foster care, along with his seven siblings.
One of those is his brother Vinnie, 46, who has both cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability.
The pair's incredible bond was the subject of the 2006 documentary My Brother Vinnie. Since 1997, Aaron has been Vinnie's primary carer.
Aaron (pictured as Frank Gibbs in A Place To Call Home) says he has been very "blessed" in his career.
At the time of this interview, Aaron revealed he'd taken "a bit of a break" to spend more time with Vinnie.
"I'm hanging out with my brother, which is beautiful," he smiles. "That's what I haven't been able to do for the past 17 months.
"Vinnie's a lot of fun. He makes me laugh and keeps me real."
Mystery Road airs Sundays, 8:30pm on ABC and is currently available to stream on ABC iview.

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