Early in 2019 actor Kate Box got the call from Wentworth producers. It was the start of a path that leads to her debut tonight as former Top Dog, Lou Kelly.
“They checked to see what my life was looking like and whether I’d be interested, and of course I said ‘Yes!'” she tells TV Tonight.
“Then they called me into the writers’ room actually, a few months later. I was listening to Marcia’s (Gardner, script producer) brilliant mind, pumping out these stories that are just so unique and wonderful.
“I was sitting there giggling with joy on the inside”
“They talked to me about Lou’s story and the arc. Lou is such a tough nut who doesn’t show all her cards, so I was sitting there giggling with joy on the inside, but on the outside presented as quite cool and okay with it all.”
Lou Kelly is another Prisoner heritage character, originally played by Louise Siversen, but now reimagined for the hit Foxtel series.
Box, whose credits include Les Norton, Riot and Rake, says the character’s return to the prison will unsettle both inmates and staff. But she also has her own vulnerabilities.
“She’s been around, she knows how to survive”
“Lou Kelly was an ex-top dog at Wentworth -before Bea and before Jacs. She’s been around, she knows how to survive in prison and she spent more of her life in prison than out of it.
“When we see her come back into Wentworth, she of course is going to face all of those challenges that come with not being given the same respect when she was top dog. So she’s gotta swallow that pill.
“But she comes in this time with a massive love. I think that’s what drives her.”
Joining her is trans-character Reb Keane played by Zoe Terakes (another heritage character, originally Janet Andrewartha), with whom Kate Box underwent audition chemistry tests, plus new General Manager, Ann Reynolds played by Jane Hall (originally Gerda Nicolson).
“Lou and Reb come in as a pair and Lou is ferociously loyal, madly in love with Reb and will do anything to protect him. So a lot of her journey in this season is about what she would do for Reb.
“There was a lot of violence and it was pretty high adrenaline”
“Lou is not afraid to get down and dirty and get her hands into it. She carries out her own punishments. There was a lot of violence and it was pretty high adrenaline. I did get to the end of the day and decompress.
“But it’s fun living so far away from your real life.
“They really rip the ‘everyday’ out of you. It’s just drama upon drama. The stakes are high, it’s action the whole time.
“I’m not just carrying files around!”
8:30pm tonight on FOX Showcase.