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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 ‘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.

‘I also think it’s quite true – certainly for Joan Ferguson; that relationship she has with Vera Bennett is probably the closest she has ever had in her live. When it doesn’t go the way Joan would like, she feels betrayed and people have to pay.’ Equally fascinating is the love for the character of Joan herself – and the way we, as an audience can’t help but be drawn to her despite her murderous, torturing and abusive ways. Pam mused: ‘It’s pretty perverse that people get drawn into such a complex character – she’s a piece of work is our Joan Ferguson. But we’re all drawn to the mystery of people who behave badly – she is up to no good. People who behave in a way that you wouldn’t be allowed to in real life is fascinating; especially for me as a performer to be able to embrace it and try to understand all of those things. I enjoy the privilege and freedom you have to indulge in those nasty scenes. ‘I just feel incredibly lucky that they let me indulge in the full kind of breadth of that very complicated, troubled soul. It’s never just one note of menace or weakness. There’s such structure to the writing – I have so much admiration for the writing team over how they do it.’

Pamela Rabe and Kate Atkinson | Wentworth Season 3

The show is certainly going to be more unmissable than ever with Joan back in the mix but Pam admits that it wasn’t always the plan for Joan to have survived the burial – she truly thought her character was dead and buried for good. She explained: ‘I always asked our wonderful writers that when they felt it was time for Ferguson to go, that they let me know and that she goes out with a bang. And I felt you couldn’t get much more of a bang that going out in a big box so I was sad but also pretty excited with the way they said farewell to the character – and I really did think it was a farewell so I was pretty surprised when the call came to tell me she is alive. ‘It was all tied up with them thinking the series was going to end at the end of season seven but when they got the green light to finish up with another 20 episodes, I got the phone call. I was called in to film that little season ending for 7. My fellow cast members didn’t even know about it – it was all top secret and my name wasn’t even on the call sheet. Everyone around me in the scene was played by someone from the team like writers or crew.’

And while we can’t yet reveal exactly what Joan has in store for those she wants to make pay, she teased that there will be some unexpected twists that will surprise fans. She added: ‘Everyone will know that there’s a few people who should watch their backs. The way that plays out is not what people will expect – or the characters. There are such interesting twists and turns. ‘They put cat nip in these episodes – just one more episode before I go to bed! But there’s so much to come up, it’s tricky not to give spoilers because there are so many big things to happen.’ Wentworth continues on Wednesday August 12 at 10pm on 5Star.

Wentworth continues on Wednesday August 12 at 10pm on 5Star.

Exclusive interview by Duncan Lindsay for


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