Crime pays

Why Kate Jenk­in­son swapped Hol­ly­wood for a Went­worth jail cell

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - By TIF­FANY DUNK

WHEN Kate Jenk­in­son was laid low with the flu for a week, she fi­nally took the op­por­tu­nity to catch up on the show all her friends had been telling her about.

By the end of the first episode, not only was she hooked but she’d made a de­ci­sion – she was go­ing to be in that show no mat­ter what it took.

That show is Went­worth and not long af­ter binge watch­ing two sea­sons from her bed in LA – where she’d re­lo­cated af­ter land­ing the core role in Rebel Wil­son’s com­edy Su­per

Fun Night – Jenk­in­son re­alised her dream.

“I caught up with a girl­friend of mine, Ka­sia Kacz­marek, in LA. She played one of Franky’s ( Ni­cole da Silva) min­ions and I was telling her how much I loved the show,” Jenk­in­son re­calls.

“She said, ‘ Well, you know that we filmed a third sea­son and they’ re film­ing a fourth ?’ And I was like, ‘ I’m in it! I’m do­ing it, I don’t know what it’s go­ing to be but I’m go­ing to be in that show.’

“Then my agent called me about a month af­ter that lunch and said, ‘ So there’s a job on

Went­worth …’ and I re­mem­ber say­ing, ‘ Well it’s mine!’”

Jenk­in­son plays new in­mate Al­lie No­vak, a gay dru­gad­dicted pros­ti­tute who was caught up in Kaz Proc­tor’s ( Tammy MacIn­tosh) ret­ri­bu­tion group Red Right Hand.

Af­ter be­ing given refuge by Kaz, the pair tracked down the men who’d as­saulted her over the years. As such, says Jenk­in­son, Al­lie owes a debt to­wards her pro­tec­tor.

And with the group hav­ing been ar­rested at the end of last sea­son af­ter a tip- off they be­lieve came from Went­worth “top dog” Bea Smith ( Danielle Cor­mack), Al­lie is thrown in the thick of things straight away.

“Al­lie is meant to be an ad­ver­sary of Bea, but she’s ac­tu­ally quite taken with Bea’s strength and power and finds her­self drawn to her ,” Jenk­in­son says.

Play­ing a char­ac­ter so “dam­aged and bro­ken and colour­ful” was a re­spon­si­bil­ity Jenk­in­son took se­ri­ously.

Be­fore film­ing she vis­ited women’s outreach cen­tres, speak­ing with women who’d gone through sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences.

“I wanted to rep­re­sent a real hu­man be­ing as op­posed to just play­ing a stereo­typ­i­cal bad girl,” she says.

“And it was great for me to get an in­sight be­cause it re­minded me – it could be me. A few dif­fer­ent choices or a dif­fer­ent up bring­ing–that could just as eas­ily be me. It was re­ally eye- open­ing.”

While re­luc­tant to give too many de­tails into what to ex­pect this sea­son, Jenk­ins on does con­firm she will get to in­ter­act with Joan “The Freak” Fer­gu­son ( Pamela Rabe), who will her­self be a Went­worth in­mate when we re­turn.

“I was dy­ing to get my hands on The Freak – or for The Freak to get her hands on me,” she laughs. “I was thrilled.”

While Jenk­in­son is back au­di­tion­ing in LA since film­ing wrapped on sea­son four, she’s adamant she’ll hap­pily stay locked up in Went­worth for how­ever long they’ll have her.

“It’s re­ally in­ter­est­ing to now be an ac­tor in a show that I’m al­ready a fan of,” she says.

“I was wor­ried I wouldn’t en­joy watch­ing it so much now I’m in it but I think I’m go­ing to be able to de­tach and still watch it as a fan.”


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