On June 20, 2019, ABC launched its latest crime drama, and it looks set to be a big one. Created by Ken Sanzel, Reef Break revolves around Cat Chambers (Poppy Montgomery), an ex-employee of the crime syndicate, Shorepound. The show’s premiere sees the former smuggler/ money launderer/ grifter/ thief/ all-around bad girl return to the Pacific paradise of Reef Break to work as a fixer for the island’s governor. Her shady past gives Cat unparalleled insight into the criminal mind, and she quickly becomes embroiled in the fast-paced, high-octane underbelly of the island. Adding to the intrigue are her relationships with her FBI agent ex-husband, her incarcerated former Shorepound boss, and her occasional booty call, a police detective who, despite his best efforts, is hopelessly out-of-depth in both his professional and personal life. With each action-packed episode focusing on the life, loves, and adventures of one of Reef Breaks line up of characters, get up to speed with your essential summer viewing with our who’s who guide to the cast.
Taking on the central character of Cat Chambers is Poppy Montgomery. The Australian born actress moved to the US at the age of 18 and quickly secured small parts in shows such as NYPD, Party of Five, Relativity and The Beat. In 2001, she won her big break as Marilyn Monroe in the miniseries, Blonde. She followed up on her success with the starring role of Samantha Spade in the CBS drama, Without a Trace, as J.K. Rowling in the bio, Magic Beyond Worlds, and as Carrie Well in the CBS police drama, Unforgettable. On the home front, Montgomery is married to the director of lifestyle marketing for Microsoft, Shawn Sanford. The couple has a son, Gus Monroe, and a daughter, Violet Grace, while Montgomery also has an older child, Jackson Phillip, from her former relationship with actor Adam Kaufman. As noted by IMDB, Montgomery is a popular draw with men’s magazines, gracing the covers of many US and Australian publications, and even making Maxim’s Hot 100 of 2005 list.
Ray Stevenson takes on the role of Jake Elliott, an aging FBI agent who’s managed to achieve legendary status on the small island of Reef Break. The relationship between Jake and Cat goes years back: in Cat’s younger days with Shorepound, Ray had infiltrated the group, met Cat, married her, and been the main persuader in her decision to break up the gang by turning informant on its members. Despite being separated for some time, the pair’s lives are still entwined, with Ray providing a helping hand to Cat on more than one occasion. Prior to his casting in Reef Break, Stevenson was best known as Titus Pullo in the TV series, Rome, Dagonet in King Arthur (2004) and Volstagg in Thor and its sequels Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. The Northern Irish actor has also enjoyed success as Detective Supt Edward Benton in Rellik (2017), Gar Saxon in Star Wars Rebels (2016- 2017) and Blackbeard in Black Sails (2016-2017). According to his IMDB profile, outside of acting, Stevenson enjoys art and has a particular passion for watercolor painting.
Asian- Australian actor Desmond Chaim plays the newly promoted Detective Wyatt Cole in the Reef Island police department. After Cole and Cat share a one-night stand, the pair team up to look into the nefarious goings-on of the island’s criminal class. Prior to landing the role, Chaim was most recognizable as Jethro from the first season of Starz’s Now Apocalypse, and as the recurring character of General Riga in the final season of Spike’s The Shannara Chronicles, a fantasy drama based on The Sword of Shannara trilogy of novels by Terry Brooks. He’s also featured in minor roles in NCIS: Los Angles, Bones, Con-Man and Hawaii Five-0. In addition to his acting credits, Chaim has built a successful career behind the camera, co-creating and executive producing eight episodes of the situational comedy series, We, The Band, between 2015 and 2016. He was also responsible for the cinematography of the series and starred in one episode as the unnamed “Man with Whip”.
Zimbabwe-born actress Mellissa Bonne moved to Australia at the age of 5. After studying the Meisner Technique at The Actor’s Pulse in Sydney, Bonne started her career on stage in such productions as John Osborne’s iconic Look Back in Anger, Alan Ball’s Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, Richard Stockwell’s Killing Time and Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius before making her move to TV in 2016 with ABC’s Janet King. In addition to Reef Break, 2019 will see the actress appear in the upcoming feature film Back of the Net. As talented behind the camera as she is in front of it, Bonne has written and directed several short films, including iBerry in 2011 and Guardian Elf in 2013. She’s also turned her hand to feature-length films, creating her first, Project Ryan, in 2011. In Reef Break, Bonne plays Anna Dumont, the half-sister of Desmond Chaim’s Detective Wyatt Cole. As the deputy governor of Reef Island, Anna is responsible for enticing Cat to work as a fixer for the governor’s office, helping the police with their inquiries and making sure any matters the governor wishes to keep secret stay that way.
The character of Petra Torrance, a surfer and thief with a grudge against Cat for her role in her father Mike’s death, is played by actress Tamala Shelton. The 22-year-old actress first came to fame as Chloe in the Australian TV series, Upper Middle Bogan (2013). From there, she played Mia in the fantasy action-adventure series Nowhere Boys from 2013 to 2015, reprising her role in the cinematic follow-up, Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows in 2016. From 2016-2017, she starred as Alinta West in True Story with Hamish and Andy. So far, 2019 looks set to be the young actress’s year: in addition to Reef Break, she’s also staring as Morgan Marshall in Location Scouts, Andy in Dark Place, and Robin in Occupation Rainfall.