Rocking the jailhouse
Robbie Magasiva, WHO PLAYS WENTWORTH’S LOVEABLE PRISON GUARD WILL, REFLECTS ON THE SHOW’S THRILLING FIFTH SEASON
Robbie Magasiva’s pick for the most shocking moment in season five of Wentworth is no surprise. The scene where The Freak cut out Lucy’s tongue and then gifted it to Vera for her birthday completely floored fans around the country.
“I think because it was so graphic,” he explains. “That’s probably why it’s a highlight. Every couple of weeks we have a read-through and when we read that, and Pam’s [Pamela Rabe who plays Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson] classic line, ‘You’ve licked your last pussy’ [laughs] everyone just cracked up.
“But just the reaction of the cast and the crew when we read that we just went, ‘Oh my gosh, how are you going to pull that off?’ but the make-up department, to their credit, you know we’ve got an amazing team that was able to pull that off.”
Season five of Wentworth was a turning point for Magasiva’s character Will. He was horrified by the drug trade running rampant through the prison and was certain there was a dirty officer involved. When Vera (Kate Atkinson) dismissed Will’s suspicions as paranoia he teamed up with former top dog Kaz (Tammy MacIntosh) to end the operation.
Previously Kaz despised Will and took out some of her anger towards men on him. But when Will saved Kaz’s life in a prison van crash she realised he was a genuinely good person. Magasiva says the unlikely alliance made sense because those characters want the same thing.
“These are two people who have got the same belief system. They both care for the women and Kaz [does not] use violence and neither does Will in that sense but Kaz’s history, growing up with abuse, it’s kind of led them to where they are until that boiler scene when they come together.”
So with such dark storylines and violent scenes to film, just how does the cast stay upbeat and have fun while making the show, which is currently filming its sixth season in Melbourne?
Magasiva says that while everyone is switched on and committed during takes once the director yells “cut” there is a lot of fun going on behind the scenes.
“Last year me and Nicole [da Silva, who plays Frankie] ended up filming a short film called
Puddles. Me and Nic again we put together a music video to the last song in Grease, We
Go Together, so we did that, with everyone lip-syncing.
“I have an annual picnic every year and the crew love it … basically I created it because I wanted to see the crew and cast with their families — so dogs, kids, are all welcome.
“Those are the things that keep it light and the funnest people that I enjoy working with are Kate Atkinson and Nicole da Silva — we pull practical jokes, pranks on each other when we’re filming and stuff like that. There’s always time for that and then there’s time to switch it on and go ‘okay we need to tell a story’.”
Robbie Magasiva as Will and Tammy MacIntosh as Kaz. The characters became closer after the prison van crashed.
Behind the scenes, Magasiva and his cast mates had fun in a hot tub while filming in mid-winter in water.