Mccor­mack locks away the past to be­come Bea

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION - – DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT

AC­TRESS Danielle McCor­mack says she had to break up with some of her most cher­ished child­hood mem­o­ries to play hard­ened crim Bea Smith in the new pay-TV se­ries Went­worth. Went­worth has been tagged as a ‘‘reimag­in­ing’’ of the 1980s cult tele­vi­sion hit Pris­oner and the first of 10 episodes air on SoHo chan­nel on Wed­nes­day. Most of the pop­u­lar Pris­oner in­mates, in­clud­ing Bea Smith, re­turn in Went­worth and while the names may be fa­mil­iar with view­ers of the for­mer hit se­ries, the sto­ry­lines and char­ac­ters dif­fer greatly. It’s why McCor­mack had to dis­tance her­self from grow­ing up as a fan of Pris­oner in New Zealand when she ac­cepted the role of Smith. She’s also re­fused to watch episodes of Pris­oner in the leadup to, or af­ter, be­ing handed the script to Went­worth. ‘‘I re­alised it was kind of counter pro­duc­tive to even try and watch the old stuff be­cause it bears no re­la­tion­ship to what we are mak­ing now,’’ McCor­mack says. ‘‘The next level was to go through an am­i­ca­ble di­vorce with my thoughts and feel­ings about Bea Smith and start build­ing her from the ground up again with healthy re­gards to Pris­oner. ‘‘There was absolutely no doubt that I should play Bea dif­fer­ently.’’ McCor­mack says there may be a back­lash from die-hard fans of Pris­oner who have trou­ble re­lat­ing to the char­ac­ters bear­ing the same name in Went­worth. For in­stance, in­dige­nous ac­tress Sha­reena Clan­ton por­trays in­mate Doreen An­der­son, orig­i­nally played by Co­lette Mann. How­ever, McCor­mack said the sto­ry­lines were com­pelling and once view­ers ac­quainted them­selves with Went­worth, they’ll be sold on the se­ries and Pris­oner will be a fad­ing, but pleas­ant mem­ory. ‘‘Some peo­ple are go­ing to find it dif­fi­cult to ac­cept where this show sits,’’ she says.

‘‘They will scru­ti­nise the first pro­gram and find parts of the se­ries which don’t mea­sure up to their ex­pec­ta­tions . I also know there will be a very strong feel­ings for Went­worth char­ac­ters for those who never knew th­ese char­ac­ters ever ex­isted be­fore.’’

Went­worth: Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Soho.

Danielle McCor­mack, Kris McQuade, Ni­cole Da Silva, Aaron Jef­fery

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