The untold INXS story on the little screen

FROM playing covers in backwater pubs to selling out Wembley Stadium, INXS was one of Australia's most successful rock bands.

The band's rise to fame, both in Australia and overseas, and the dramatic downfall of its charismatic lead singer

Michael Hutchence is the subject of Seven's new two-part mini-series Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS.

Made in collaboration with the surviving band members and featuring original clothes, instruments, music and concert footage, Never Tear Us Apart is a sweeping, yet intimate look into the six-piece group that started out in Perth as The Farriss Brothers.

There's the quince jelly ad, for example, which inspired the band's name change to INXS.

Luke Arnold, raised in Sydney and on the Sunshine Coast, plays Hutchence and admits he's landed the role of a lifetime.

"It's been a dream role of mine for a long time," Arnold told The Guide.

"There were rumours for a few years about an INXS project and I kept my ear to the ground about it, hoping I could try to get in the mix. I couldn't be more overjoyed and excited about playing the role."

It's a role which came with the added pressure of portraying a real person who is remembered both by the public and his loved ones.

"I know my responsibility is to Michael and his story and to who he is as a man," he said.

"I'm taking it very seriously but I'm trying not to spend any time worrying about if I'm loved or hated for how it turns out. Everyone has an opinion of who they think Michael was, but hopefully people will think we're doing him justice."

Flying back from South Africa where he had been filming the US TV series Black Sails, Arnold spent weeks studying the rock star's life and mannerisms.

"I locked myself in a house and did nothing but watch INXS clips and dance around the house as Michael all day long," he said.

"There's more reference material than you could ever want. With so many first-hand accounts since we tried to condense it down to a story that we can tell."

Arnold believes Hutchence could have been any number of things if he hadn't gone down the path of music.

"What's interesting is that this career really chose him," he said.

"It was really only because all his mates were in a band that he was a singer, and he ended up becoming one of the greatest frontmen of all time."

Playing Hutchence's high-profile lovers are Samantha Jade as Kylie Minogue, Mallory Jansen as Helena Christensen and Georgina Haig as Paula Yates.


Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS - Seven - Sunday at 8.30pm