‘Scaring people is wonderful’
Pamela Rabe, the woman behind “The Freak”, speaks out
The make-up room on the set of Wentworth, has a row of headshots of all the cast. At some point during shooting the latest season, the cast started replacing the photos of themselves with photos of themselves as young children. Pamela Rabe, who plays Joan “The Freak” Ferguson, stuck up a photo of herself as a four-year-old. “I’m gazing at the camera with a very Joan Ferguson expression with a lollipop in my mouth,” Pamela, 61, tells TV WEEK with a laugh. “I’ve just realised that look has obviously been in my arsenal for a very long time!”
That expression has terrified and enthralled Wentworth fans ever since Joan arrived as the prison’s new governor in the show’s second season. She’s quite possibly the scariest woman on TV, something Pamela thinks is “wonderful”.
“You try to tell stories that people can be engaged with and entertained by, but also to feel something,” she says. “So if people feel scared, that’s as good as anything.”
There are times when Pamela has witnessed the fear on people’s faces when they’ve seen her standing in front of them.
“Just occasionally you get a little squeal, a little hand clasped over the mouth,” she says.
Growing up in Canada, Pamela was still very young when she realised that baddies were the most fun to play on stage or screen.
“I played Goldilocks in kindergarten and that didn’t go well,” she remembers. “In second grade, I was handed the Queen in Alice In Wonderland, and I thought, ‘Oh, there’s no turning back from this.”‘ Read More