Roberta flak cool for Kat
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.
Kat Stewart as Roberta.