Australian actor and former elite cyclist Nathan Page, best known internationally for his nuanced portrayal of Detective Inspector Jack Robinson in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, was born into an air force family in Perth on 25th August 1971. He moved frequently around the country while growing up and went to school predominantly in Canberra and Melbourne.
Nathan started cycling at the age of 14 in Canberra “as a random new thing to try”. “I stumbled across cycling looking through the phone book trying to find a hobby…and there it was. I had a crappy hand me down bike, there was a bike club… So random, so completely random, and so off I went to attend a club meeting deep in the forests of Canberra,” he says, describing his introduction to the sport. This led to him discovering a whole new subculture “tucked away in the nooks and crannies of regional areas frequented mostly by gnarly, sun baked, hardened veterans…to them, cycling was nothing short of religion.” The etiquette of cycling captured his heart instantly. “To race a bike with relative safety, in groups, on open roads, through steep descents, up sharp climbs all require a specific skill set and unwritten rules. ‘Omertà.’” The learning curve was huge as he learned how to control and challenge himself and his machinery, and ventured into worlds of beautiful frames, revered circuits, and exotic cuisines.
Nathan subsequently raced up through the ranks to the state level in NSW and began to compete at the national level at the age of 15. He had the attention of the Australian Institute of Sport by the time he was 16, at which time he moved to Adelaide with a scholarship. His international career in individual and team pursuit took off immediately: he left for Europe for an initial tour of three months with the trips becoming longer as he grew older. The next three years were intense as he won several World Junior medals and set a Junior world record. Cycling being a largely Eurocentric sport at the time, the period saw him discovering worlds entirely different from the Australian culture and mindset with which he was familiar. He toured Italy, East Germany, France, West Germany, Holland and even the Soviet Union. His favorite track was the super fast Moscow velodrome, where the indoor board track had been built for the Moscow Olympics. He retired from the sport at the age of 19 because of a combination of numerous injuries and the now commonly known drug culture in the sport.
Nathan’s immersion in sport from an early age meant that his decision to retire was momentous. “I went into a wilderness for a while and had nothing to fall back on, then I decided to do something that was going to scare me,” he recalled in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in 2013. He channeled the toughness and discipline acquired as an athlete into an entirely different career. He described the transition in a 2009 interview with the Herald Sun: “I fell in with a bunch of creatives and thought I should really do something to scare myself again, and got into a little Tuesday night drama class.” He studied at the Centre for Performing Arts (now Adelaide College of the Arts) for three years, from 1993 to 1996, following a general theatre training schedule.
Nathan’s early forays into acting were on the Adelaide stage, where he played a variety of roles ranging from Shakespeare’s Duncan in Macbeth (the cast of which also included Essie Davis) and Faust in UR Faust to Nick in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. He first appeared in a feature film in 1999, in Strange Fits of Passion. In 2000, he starred along Kylie Minogue as the character of Len in Sample People. His first appearance as a recurring character on a television show was in the third season of The Secret Life of Us in 2003. His other notable roles on TV include that of Ray “Chuck” Bennett in Underbelly 2: A Tale of Two Cities, Alisdair “Mac” MacDonald in Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, and Henry Stokes in Underbelly: Squizzy among others.
Nathan’s breakout role, however, has been that of Detective Inspector Jack Robinson in the Australian show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, based on Kerry Greenwood’s well-known novels. While this character is comparatively minor in the books, it was conceived from the very planning stages of the TV series as being the romantic male lead against the Indiana Jones / James Bond style female lead, Phryne Fisher (played by the incomparable Essie Davis). The combination of Nathan’s matinee-idol-style good looks, unique voice, and nuanced acting ensured that his character drew an immediate global fan following.
He currently lives in Adelaide with his long-term partner and their sons.