HEARTTHROB Matthew Le Nevez is swapping romance for crime and sci-fi intrigue in the new Aussie drama The Kettering Incident.
The Offspring favourite, who is also currently starring in season three of Love Child on Channel 9, goes against type as Brian Dutch, a former drug squad detective with questionable morals.
"I've played a lot of dirty cop roles in the past before Offspring and then suddenly the success of that show made me a good guy for a little while," Le Nevez laughs while speaking to The Guide in Hobart.
"It's funny how you can work on two shows a couple of years apart and they pop up at the same time. I've also got Brock (Ten's biopic) coming up later in the year. People will be sick of me by Christmas."
Shot entirely in Tasmania, the series follows Dr Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki), who is inexplicably linked to the mysterious disappearances of two girls that happen 15 years apart in her small hometown of Kettering.
Some locals believe the disappearances are linked to UFOs and alien abductions, while others suspect something more sinister.
"At the beginning of the series I don't think Dutch believes in anything," Le Nevez said.
"He's a carnal, soulless, lonely, unethical wolf but by the end of the series he starts to question his lack of spirituality."
When Dr Macy, who works as a haematologist in London, comes home for the first time in more than a decade, Detective Dutch is intrigued by the town's reaction to her unexpected return.
"The fact she's back and certain things are happening again peaks his interest," he said.
"He's threatened by her intelligence and her independence. He's also attracted to that in some ways. She's very dangerous to him."
The wild coastline and forests of southern Tasmania make for a spooky backdrop to the eight-part series, the look of which creators Victoria Madden and Vincent Sheehan modelled off Scandinavian noir.
"The show uses the natural landscape and environment as another character. It's certainly graded in a way that makes it look cold but not oppressive. There's such a high sky down here and they wanted to create this foreboding energy."
On first glance, The Kettering Incident appears to be a crime thriller but it quickly delves into otherworldly tones.
"We set up a crime, mystery, gothic thriller with these really truthful elements and character-based drama but we're able to subvert that through sci-fi, genre-based storytelling," he said.
"I think that's really exciting. When you have the opportunity to shoot down here, why not push the envelope?"
The Kettering Incident also stars Henry Nixon, Damien Garvey, Sacha Horler, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Kris McQuade, Anthony Phelan and Damon Gameau.
The Kettering Incident premieres tonight at 8.30pm on Foxtel's Showcase channel.