Leah Purcell and Susie Porter in a scene from season 7 of the TV series Wentworth. Supplied by Foxtel
Leah Purcell and Susie Porter in a scene from season 7 of the TV series Wentworth. Supplied by Foxtel Kelly Gardner

Wentworth doesn’t shy away from tough topics

One of the key reasons hit prison drama Wentworth has been welcomed back by its dedicated following is that it embraces truthful storytelling, says star Tammy Macintosh says.

The veteran actor, who plays top dog Kaz Proctor in the long-running series, believes Wentworth's refusal to shy away from often taboo topics helps give it a level of authenticity you won't find on network television.

"This show tells the truth on every level," she tells Insider. "Audiences aren't stupid and they want the truth and they want to believe.

Tammy Macintosh as Kaz Proctor in Wentworth.
Tammy Macintosh as Kaz Proctor in Wentworth.

"The storylines on this show, the calibre of actors that come in, the chemistry between these characters and the commitment from every crew member - from the caterer to the art department to make-up to the actors - shines through so you know you're getting bang for your buck, you're not being given a formulaic kind of show … this is the real deal," she adds.

Macintosh, best known for her roles on shows such as The Flying Doctors, Police Rescue and All Saints, believes having women as the central characters in Wentworth also gives it makes it a more appealing prospect than the male prison shows we've all seen before.

"When these heroes, villains, leading characters, are women, they tend to give you a whole new perspective to this world," she says.

"You watch a male prison show and my opinion is when they choose to commit crimes they do it quite consciously, they understand good and bad quite clearly unless there are mental health issues."

 

 

Macintosh says Wentworth doesn’t sugar coat serious storylines. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Macintosh says Wentworth doesn’t sugar coat serious storylines. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Women who find themselves in trouble with the law are, from the research she has done and the prisoners she has spoken to, "inherently really good women who have found themselves in shit situations doing bad things for the right reasons," Macintosh says.

Audiences of Wentworth's predecessor Prisoner often spoke out against the show's same-sex relationships, but Macintosh is proud of how far attitudes have come since those days.

It wasn't so long ago she was being targeted by fans for portraying a lesbian character.

"What's great is that there's
been a very speedy breakdown of barriers, probably only in the last few years," she says. "I remember doing All Saints and getting a lot of letters from staunch fans asking 'Why does she have to love women? Why can't she just be like everyone else?' and it's like 'Well that's not the way the world works'!"

Nothing on Wentworth is "sugar-coated", Macintosh says, and viewers have to decide whether they're up for the "wild ride".

"If you're not up to this don't come on board but once you do come on board, even if you think you're not up for it, you will find something to connect to, you will find someone to connect to," she says. "And then you'll be addicted."

 

* Wentworth Season 7 is now showing on Foxtel Showcase



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