Former Cop Shop star Terry Norris says he's proud be one of the oldest working actors in Australia - and he doesn't even bump into the furniture on set.
1 Apr 2014 - 9:00 AM  UPDATED 1 Apr 2014 - 9:23 AM

Each time octogenarian Terry Norris is cast in a role, it gives him faith that Australia's young directors and producers aren't entirely ageist.

The former star of Cop Shop will again appear as one of the three "old blokes" who frequent a Fitzroy pub in the third instalment of the ABC Jack Irish telemovie series, Dead Point.

It's one of three projects Norris has recently completed.

He will appear in the feature film Paper Planes with Sam Worthington and Force of Destiny alongside David Wenham.

"I'm possibly one of the oldest working actors in Australia," an upbeat Norris told AAP.

"I've been lucky in the last 12 months to do two movies and I'm fortunate, despite my age, I never have trouble learning my lines and I don't bump into the furniture on set."

It's quite clear Norris is grateful for the work that comes his way these days when he could easily have been forgotten, like so many of his former Cop Shop buddies, years ago.

He says too many Australian directors want to "cast young" and overlook the myriad of characters on offer.

"One of my great beefs in Australia is that we are inclined to cast young," Norris says.

"The great tapestry of faith is in America and Britain where they use these wonderful old faces.

"Here (in Australia) if they wanted a brain surgeon, they cast someone who is 35-years-old, but in America and Britain they would be 65 or 70.

"I have been awfully lucky for the work I've had lately."

Norris played Snr Sgt Eric O'Reilly on Cop Shop, which ran from 1977 to 1982, and won the peer-voted Logie for best supporting actor in a TV series in 1980.

He left Cop Shop in 1981 and became a Victorian MP for 10 years and was also the deputy speaker.

Norris says being a successful actor is a far more privileged life than being a politician.

"I'm glad I did it (entered politics), but was never going to do it again after that," Norris says.

Norris, who turns 84 in June, isn't the only veteran actor in Jack Irish: Dead Point, which stars Emmy Award winning and Golden Globe nominated Guy Pearce.

Comedian Barry Humphries, Roy Billing and John Jarratt are among the older faces in the ensemble cast for the telemovie based on Peter Temple's thriller novels.

Norris says the three old blokes in the pub have struck a chord with viewers and he is often quizzed about which inner-city Melbourne hotel they use for the scenes.

"They (three blokes) seem to strike a chord with older people and a pub life they used to remember," Norris said.

"I get a lot of reaction from older members of the audience about that and the pub where it's filmed."

Jack Irish: Dead Point screens on Sunday, April 13 at 8.30pm on ABC1