STAR GETS TIP FROM ROBERTA

Ac­tor Hollie Andrew had a bat­tle to por­tray Roberta Wil­liams her way af­ter a meet­ing with the ex-mob­ster’s wife gave her an in­sight to the char­ac­ter not pre­vi­ously avail­able to out­siders

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV - DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT

When Roberta Wil­liams, the ex-wife of slain drug king­pin Carl Wil­liams, met ac­tor Hollie Andrew she asked to be por­trayed in a more favourable light in the minis­eries Fat Tony & Co.

Andrew met Wil­liams for a cof­fee two days be­fore film­ing started on the Chan­nel 9 show.

The pair spent three hours chat­ting about the past, present and fu­ture.

Fat Tony & Co is ba­si­cally a fol­low-up to the orig­i­nal Un­der­belly se­ries about Mel­bourne’s gang­land wars. In that se­ries, Lo­gie win­ner Kat Ste­wart por­trayed Roberta Wil­liams, but the ac­tor never met the woman she played.

This time around, Wil­liams made time to meet Andrew. She asked to at least be por­trayed as a good mother, vow­ing she had never sworn in the pres­ence of Dhakota, her daugh­ter by Carl (who is again played by Gy­ton Grant­ley).

“Kat never got the chance to speak with her, so I was com­ing at it (this role) from a dif­fer­ent an­gle,” Andrew says.

“She (Wil­liams) wanted to make sure she was rep­re­sented as the mother she thinks she is ... it was an in­ter­est­ing as­pect to fo­cus on.

“From all ac­counts she is a good mother and the way she talks about her chil­dren, she is a sur­vivor.”

Hav­ing met Wil­liams, Andrew took her im­pres­sion of their meet­ing on to the set of Fat Tony & Co.

That caused some mi­nor prob­lems, be­cause the pro­duc­ers and writ­ers al­ready had an im­pres­sion of how Wil­liams should be played that did not

SHE WANTED TO MAKE SURE SHE WAS REP­RE­SENTED AS THE MOTHER SHE THINKS SHE IS ... FROM ALL AC­COUNTS SHE IS A GOOD MOTHER

en­tirely co­in­cide with Andrew’s view.

“It was im­por­tant for me be­cause I wanted a sense of her (in the show),” Andrew says.

“I def­i­nitely had to stand my ground on some things be­cause the writ­ing would come to me and it was a lit­tle bit con­tra­dic­tory (af­ter meet­ing her) from where I was com­ing from.”

The writ­ers, she says, “were more than able to adapt to us”. Even so, Wil­liams has com­plained about the way Fat Tony & Co de­picts her fam­ily life and par­ent­ing skills.

Ac­cord­ing to Andrew, Wil­liams has well and truly moved on from the Carl Wil­liams-era of her life (though Fat Tony & Co prob­a­bly doesn’t help her cause). Wil­liams also “has a great sense of hu­mour and loves telling a yarn”, Andrew says, and sup­ports an autism char­ity.

“I got a sense of com­pas­sion and that she has grown up a lot from the first time Un­der­belly screened and the story was told,” Andrew adds.

Fat Tony & Co: Sun­days, 8.30pm, Nine, NBN.

Hollie Andrew

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