It’s been more than two years since Pamela Rabe’s Wentworth character, Joan “The Freak” Ferguson was buried alive in the season-five finale. That’s a long time to come to terms with The Freak’s death.
And yet even the most cynical Wentworth fan will admit that every time the lights get low and the music drops, they’re half-expecting the character to come back from the dead.
So haunting was Pamela’s portrayal of the governor-turned-prisoner that Wentworth fans remain convinced The Freak is unkillable. Turns out, maybe they’re right.
“Well, is she gone?” Pamela asks with a laugh on the phone to TV WEEK, her voice still carrying hints of the menace that made Joan so unforgettable.
“I have no idea. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to say anything about it or I’d have to kill you.”
Pamela is joking – we hope – but for now, secrets around the future of Wentworth remain tightly guarded. But if the acclaimed show has taught us anything, it’s never say never.
“She was buried alive in the box, and who knows what will become of her? Who knows if she’s really gone?” the 60-year-old teases.
It’s clear, just listening to the actress talk about Wentworth, that the TV WEEK Logie Award-winning show still holds a special place in her heart.
Pamela Rabe in “The Hunting”, Video by sbs.com.au
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime job,” she says. “I know that – I think we all knew that.”
So even if The Freak is no more, she’s still very much alive in Pamela’s head, and the women she left behind remain in her thoughts.
“I have such admiration for the producers, directors and actors,” the actress says. “Particularly the writers for crafting with such care. And delivering narratives that place women front and centre – women of all shapes and sizes and moralities.”
With the season-seven finale having just aired, and another batch of episodes on the way next year, Pamela is tipping some familiar faces might bid farewell.
“People come, people go, people die, people get released – Wentworth is great because there’s a constant refreshing of characters and stories,” she explains.
“But there’s also a threat of constant danger for the few who’ve been there from the beginning.”