David de Lautour stars in prequel to Outrageous Fortune
The West family will be back on our television screens from May 31.
But this six-part series focuses on a previous generation of career criminals and follows a young Ted West and his fire cracker of a wife, Rita, in the 1970s.
Westside is the prequel to the much loved television series Outrageous Fortune and is set to air on May 31 at 8.30pm on TV3.
David de Lautour, who grew up in Titirangi, stars as Ted West, a locksmith by law abiding purposes but his real talent is cracking safes.
He is the 30-something incarnation of the beloved Grandpa character who was deftly portrayed in all six seasons of Outrageous Fortune by the late Frank Whitten.
De Lautour who now lives in Los Angles says it was intimidating playing a character that people already know and love.
"It was a huge challenge because he's so iconic. You want to stay as true to the characteristics that he had when he was older but at the same time I had to make it my own. "
He says he is not playing Grandpa but instead Ted West in his heyday as the head of his family and of his gang.
De Lautour's acting debut was at Kaurilands Primary School in a play Little Red Rocking Hood. He then went on to star in many productions at the Playhouse Theatre in Glen Eden.
"The Glen Eden Playhouse was a huge part of my upbringing and discovering what I wanted to do."
His first show was Oliver in 1995 and through his theatre connections he got his first acting agent.
He loves where he spent his childhood and says Westside both pays homage to its West Auckland setting as well as making fun of stereotypes.
"I think it's tongue and cheek. Everywhere has generalisations but I think what New Zealand does really well is laughing at themselves and making fun of themselves.
"I think it starts by poking fun at it and it becomes endearing. The Wests don't care - they love West Auckland - and it's told through their eyes so as long as it's done in a way that's endearing then it's ok."
Another challenge was filming at different locations around West Auckland. Set in the 1970s, they had to be careful to choose settings where the motorway or satellite dishes were not visible. Classic cars were driven and parked in the background.
"The make-up, wardrobe and art department did an amazing job, it looks great - without shoving it down your throat. It doesn't scream 1970s, it just is."
He has stared as All Black Stephen Macdonald in the movie The Kick as well as featuring in NCIS: Los Angeles and Once Upon a Time.
Eventually he would like to return to New Zealand to raise a family.
"Who knows, I might be back living in Titirangi one day - I would love to."