Pamela Rabe about “Freakytits” – ‘It’s very deliberate!’

Duncan Lindsay posted an exclusive interview with Pamela Rabe about Wentworth and the “FreakyTits” relationship for Metro.


Ever since Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson donned her leather gloves and strode into Wentworth Prison, there have been definite and undeniable vibes between her and Vera Bennett – and Pamela Rabe, who plays the returning former governor, has revealed that they love playing with that side of the relationship. With an almost Killing Eve edge to their cat and mouse relationship, the pair don’t only loathe each other but also seem to almost enjoy the chase, have a warped mutual respect and a real co-dependency. With some fans even shipping the pair as an end game couple, Pamela smiled when speaking with us at Metro.co.uk: ‘It was born out of the relationship that Kate and I found in the very first scenes we shot. We enjoyed each other as fellow performers and a dynamic was set up. ‘It was interesting and oddly co-dependant as a mentorship relationship. They found a level of trust and shared secrets. Kate and I get off on performing with each other so the fact we enjoy each others’ company probably fed into the writer’s room. So in time yes, it became very deliberate and we’re all very aware of it and enjoy playing with that.

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Pamela Rabe praises fan power that saved show from the axe

Pamela Rabe also teases ‘the Freak’s’ return from the dead as “surprising and delicious”

Australian drama Wentworth Prison had its sentenced extended after fans campaigned to save it from the axe and secured another two seasons for the gritty reboot of cult favourite Prisoner: Cell Block H.

A final 20 episodes airing as two series of 10 will wrap up the hit show, with the shock return of iconic baddie Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson jump-starting season eight which begins on 5STAR from Wednesday 5th August.

The sadistic prison warden, and occasional inmate, was seemingly buried alive in 2017 as a punishment for her catalogue of crimes, but as glimpsed in the closing moments of the last season she has miraculously risen from the dead. In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, Pamela Rabe reveals her character’s resurrection would not have been possible without the fans’ successful campaign to reverse the Foxtel network’s original decision to end at season seven.

Pamela Rabe | Wentworth Season 8 Episode 2“I’ve never known a response from the audience on this scale,” says the acclaimed actress, who won Australian TV’s most prestigious award, the Silver Logie, for the role in 2018. “As with the original Prisoner series the fan loyalty is incredible and seems to have been multiplied with our show.

“It reaches so many countries and different communities (it’s broadcast in 158 territories), people are touched by the show and affected by it. I credit the writers as they sprinkle scripts with catnip, there is a real binge-ability to it. I find myself watching one episode and I have to keep going, it’s very addictive.

“Season seven had all but wrapped which everyone thought would be the last, but after the fan outcry and maybe the awards we won, the network decided to give it one last hurrah. The writers always knew there was more to Ferguson’s story, and once the show was saved it was an opportunity to complete some unfinished business.” (more…)

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Back From The Dead (The Binge Guide)

PAMELA RABE WAS JUST AS SHOCKED AS ANYONE ABOUT HER RETURN TO WENTWORTH, WRITES CAMERON ADAMS

Pamela Rabe as Joan Ferguson / Kath Maxwell in Wentworth Season 8 RedemptionEven when Joan The Freak’ Ferguson was buried alive in Wentworth three years ago, fans of the hit Foxtel drama series still weren’t convinced she was dead. For Pamela Rabe, whose chilling performance of Ferguson saw her win a Logie for Most Outstanding Actress in 2018, she was certain she’d filmed her final scenes and The Freak had gone for good. While she came back “to haunt (nemesis) Will Jackson” a few times in flashback scenes in the next season, she decompressed from portraying one of Australian television’s darkest characters through comedy (starring in limited series Pitting Adelaide) and her beloved theatre work. But if anyone could cheat death, even when buried in the bush, it was The Freak. Not only was Wentworth saved from being axed in part after fans campaigned for its return, but Rabe got the call back too for the series’ final season, which started filming this year and will play out until 2021.

“I assumed Joan was gone, and she’d gone out with a bang,” Rabe tells The BINGE Guide.

“I was as surprised as anyone to get the phone call but I’m thrilled it happened. I didn’t expect to come back to Wentworth, and I don’t think many of my fellow cast members knew until I rocked up to the set again.

“The story wasn’t finished, not just the Joan Ferguson story but the whole arc of the show. The writing department at Wentworth lay seeds for a very long arc of stories. That long arc wasn’t finished yet. I’m thrilled for them they get to finish this off properly and I’m lucky they considered Joan Ferguson to be a part of that.” (more…)

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Photograph 51 interview with Pamela Rabe and Nadine Garner

The woman who was cheated of DNA glory goes deeper for Pamela Rabe

It can be mesmerising to see the beauty of what is known, rather unimaginatively, as Photo 51. The photo – resembling a monochrome, mandala-like artwork – was crucial to the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is also a pivot around which Anna Ziegler’s 2008 play Photograph 51 revolves.

At one point the central character, English scientist Dr Rosalind Franklin, stands with the photo in front of her face, staring into its mysteries and potential revelations. Well might we all: as Pamela Rabe notes, this photo is about the secret of life – and the play, which Rabe is directing for the Melbourne Theatre Company, explores that secret at both the scientific and more personal, philosophical level.

The photo, taken in 1952 as part of Franklin’s investigations, is an X-ray “diffraction image” of crystallised DNA. It was vital evidence to identify the structure of DNA – but, in what remains a controversy, Photo 51 was shown without Franklin’s knowledge to another scientist.
The 1962 Nobel prize for medicine went to James Watson, Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin’s colleague, Maurice Wilkins – the man who had shared the photo. The three men – and the play tells us a lot about men of those days – used the image to develop their prize-winning chemical model of DNA while Franklin, with quiet, professional dedication, had unknowingly persevered with her own meticulous work on the problem.

Pamela Rabe and Nadine Garner during a break in rehearsals. Photo: Eddie JimPamela Rabe and Nadine Garner during a break in rehearsals. Photo: Eddie Jim

Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958 when she was 37 – five years after Crick, Watson and Wilkins published their findings in Nature, and four years before they received the Nobel. In the play, these men and two others convene with Franklin to discuss “her place in history”. In one unbroken, energetic act, the play slips between locations and scenes; our imaginations conjure the worlds evoked by the words, especially Franklin’s. (more…)

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Pamela Rabe’s Big TV Comeback

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.”

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