US TV star ANTHONY LaPAGLIA disguised his Australian accent into a Brooklyn, New York tongue because he was fed up with Antipodean stereotypes.

When the WITHOUT A TRACE actor first moved to America in the early 1980s in the hope of hitting the big time he was barraged with CROCODILE DUNDEE star Paul Hogan's famous saying "Throw another shrimp on the barbie".

LaPaglia recalls, "The other Australian that was incredibly famous, more than Mel Gibson, was Paul Hogan.

"'Put another shrimp on the barbie' became the bane of my existence. Every time I went for an audition, they'd say, 'So where you from?' I'd go, 'Australia.' And they'd go, 'Oh, we love that Paul Hogan guy. He's so funny. Put another shrimp on the barbie.' They'd do all this, you know, and it would go on for like 20 minutes. I'd be sitting there.

"They'd say, 'So how's your American accent?' So I'd read the part, and they'd go, 'I can hear your Australian accent.' I used to think, "Oh, bulls**t. You cannot. It's just because I was speaking with an Australian accent and you were talking about Paul Hogan, and now it's in your ear and you think you can hear it.'

"So one day I went to an audition, after going through eight or nine of these 'Put a shrimp on the barbie'. I went in, just fed up and somebody said, 'Where you from?' And I went, 'Brooklyn.' They went, 'Great, let's read.'

"That was it. There was no 20 minute discussion about shrimps or barbecues or Paul Hogan or anything. So from that point on I lied."

29/06/2005 02:00