Roberta flak cool for Kat

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

ROBERTA Wil­liams, ex-wife of jailed drug run­ner and mur­derer Carl Wil­liams, hates Kat Ste­wart’s por­trayal of her in Un­der­belly.

‘‘I’d have pre­ferred her to like it, but I do un­der­stand,’’ a philo­soph­i­cal Ste­wart says.

‘‘I can only think how strange it would be if some­one was play­ing me. I can’t imag­ine I’d be happy.’’ Wil­liams wasn’t so sym­pa­thetic. ‘‘It’s stupid,’’ she says of the per­for­mance.

‘‘It’s like she’s a fan of Kath & Kim. I feel sorry for her.’’

Ste­wart, 34, holds noth­ing back in Un­der­belly. She is a scene-stealer, whip­ping through pro­ceed­ings with tor­nado-like im­pact.

In April, Wil­liams claimed Un­der­belly had made her so no­to­ri­ous she couldn’t even rent a house.

She had fallen on hard times and the TV show wasn’t help­ing.

‘‘I’ve been try­ing to find a rental prop­erty at the mo­ment and I can’t,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s my name, I don’t know whether they think a house full of gang­sters is com­ing over or what­ever it may be that nar­row-minded peo­ple think in their stupid lit­tle worlds.’’

Wil­liams blamed Ste­wart’s por­trayal of her as a ma­jor fac­tor con­tribut­ing to the pub­lic’s mis­un­der­stand­ing.

‘‘I hated the way they spoke to the chil­dren,’’ Wil­liams says of the show.

Ste­wart, who lived in Mel­bourne at the height of the gang­land war, wasn’t on set when Wil­liams paid a sur­prise visit. Wil­liams had been keen to of­fer ad­vice on how she should be played.

‘‘It did hap­pen— that was be­fore I had ac­tu­ally started shoot­ing and I wasn’t there,’’ Ste­wart says.

‘‘I don’t think it was ma­li­cious, we were in her neigh­bour­hood. It just re­minded me of how real it all is.

‘‘I love play­ing Roberta. There was so much great ma­te­rial to draw from.

‘‘She’s so gutsy and strong and hon­est and open and what you see is what you get. If she feels some­thing she’ll say it. And the writ­ers gave me such fan­tas­tic lines.’’

She looks back on her Un­der­belly ex­pe­ri­ence fondly, but Ste­wart ad­mits her role— and the se­crecy in which it was shrouded— took its toll.

‘‘I can say this now, it be­comes like child­birth— you think it’s great af­ter­wards,’’ she says with a laugh.

Scene-stealer:

Kat Ste­wart as Roberta.

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