Chris Vance stars as Frank Martin in the TV series Transporter: The Series.
Chris Vance stars as Frank Martin in the TV series Transporter: The Series. Contributed - FX Channel

Aussie star now a transporter

IF JAMES Bond had never been recruited for MI6, then he might have been a transporter.

The high-stakes job of delivering packages with no questions asked for dubious clients requires discretion, street smarts and the skills to get out of trouble.

Popularised in the hit film franchise starring Jason Statham, Transporter has now been adapted into a TV series starring Aussie actor Chris Vance (Prison Break, Burn Notice, Mental, Dexter, Rizzoli & Isles).

Vance plays Frank Martin, an ex-Special Forces operative who carries anything to anywhere but lives by three simple rules: never change the deal, no names and never open the package.

Transporter - FX - Wednesday at 6.30pm Qld, 7.30pm NSW.

The British-born graduate from the University of Newcastle, who initially qualified as a civil engineer, knew he had some pretty big shoes to fill following in the footsteps of an action star like Jason Statham.

"I'm no good at imitating people so I couldn't go down that route," he laughed.

"Although I love what Jason did in the films, he made the franchise, in order for me to play it I had to make my own go at it. I had a little process I employed and it seems to work up to now.

"He still wears the black and white suit, but he's maybe a little bit different."

While he still throws plenty of punches, Vance's Frank is a bit more suave.

"I didn't really see him as a thug," he said.

"I saw him as a fairly insular guy, perhaps operating on the wrong side of the law but for the right reasons."

Frank's sidekick of sorts is his sleek black Audi, which doubles as his office and the main tool of his rather unusual trade.

"A car gets you from A to B, but I did appreciate learning how to do a few of the stunts," he said.

"I appreciated the sort of technicality that goes into creating the stunt cars and the work involved with the stunt teams."

Reprising his role of Inspector Tarconi from the film franchise is French actor Francois Berleand.

"It's one of the better parts of my job when you admire someone and you meet them and they are a nice person. Francois really is an old-school gentleman," he said.

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