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Wentworth cast discuss the challenges of filming the final season mid-pandemic


Australian prison drama Wentworth: The Final Sentence is set to air on August 24.

But unlike any others, this season was filmed under strict lockdown regulations during the height of Melbourne‘s pandemic last year, which involved weekly Covid tests, socially-distanced sets and mask wearing.

On Sunday, members of the much-loved cast spoke to Stellar about the challenges the team faced while filming the final season – and revealed what things were really like behind-the-scenes on-set since the show’s beginnings in 2013.

Final farewell: On Sunday, members of the much-loved cast of Wentworth (pictured) spoke to Stellar about the challenges the team faced this year – and what things were really like behind-the-scenes on-set since the show’s beginnings in 2013

‘We were royally ripped off, actually,’ Kate Atkinson, 49, who has played prison officer Vera Bennett since the show’s debut, said. ‘We couldn’t do any of those little rituals [like a wrap party]. We couldn’t even go in for a hug.’

According to Mumbrella, Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services allowed production to continue as long as there is a ‘Covid Safe’ plan in place. 

This meant the cast – both past and present – could only meet up after work virtually.

However, the gang confirmed in the same interview that they’ve still managed to maintain their friendships on the show, despite the pandemic raging on. 

‘For me that was the beauty of Wentworth, [forming] some fantastic friendships and some really strong creative relationships as well,’ Danielle Cormack, 50 – who played Bea Smith from 2013 to 2016 – said.

Danielle graced the cover of Stellar on Sunday, looking ageless and beautiful in a stunning red trench coat and a soft make-up palette. 

In conversation: 'For me that was the beauty of Wentworth, [forming] some fantastic friendships and some really strong creative relationships as well,' Stellar's cover star Danielle Cormack, who played Bea Smith from 2013 to 2016, added

In conversation: ‘For me that was the beauty of Wentworth, [forming] some fantastic friendships and some really strong creative relationships as well,’ Stellar’s cover star Danielle Cormack, who played Bea Smith from 2013 to 2016, added

While other shows have been plagued with rumours of rivalries and arguments on-set, legendary actress Sigrid Thornton, 62, confirmed that there were some ‘argy-bargies’ from time-to-time – but said that happens ‘on the best work’. 

‘There’s always going to be some level of conflict in a creative situation,’ Sigrid, who played Sonia Stevens from 2016 to 2018, said.

While Kate added that: ‘It wasn’t a slumber party, either, where we were a bunch of chicks sitting around plaiting each other’s hair.’

Wentworth finished filming its 100th and final episode in September of last year.

Not ideal: 'We were royally ripped off, actually,' Kate Atkinson, who plays prison officer Vera Bennett since the show’s debut, told the publication. 'We couldn’t do any of those little rituals [like a wrap party]. We couldn’t even go in for a hug'

Not ideal: ‘We were royally ripped off, actually,’ Kate Atkinson, who plays prison officer Vera Bennett since the show’s debut, told the publication. ‘We couldn’t do any of those little rituals [like a wrap party]. We couldn’t even go in for a hug’ 

On-set antics: While other shows have been plagued with rumours of rivalries and arguments on-set, Sigrid Thornton (pictured) confirmed that there were some 'argy-bargies' from time-to-time over the past seven years - but said that happens 'on the best work'

On-set antics: While other shows have been plagued with rumours of rivalries and arguments on-set, Sigrid Thornton (pictured) confirmed that there were some ‘argy-bargies’ from time-to-time over the past seven years – but said that happens ‘on the best work’

The show, which is a fresh take on iconic 1980s series Prisoner, has garnered plenty of critical acclaim, winning several AACTA and Logie awards over the years.

It has also aired in several countries, including New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, where it has developed a devoted fan base.

The Foxtel produced series was also popular with Australian audiences, who even petitioned hard to save the show from cancellation after the seventh season.

Popular: The show, which is a fresh take on iconic 1980s series Prisoner, has garnered plenty of critical acclaim, winning several AACTA and Logie awards over the years

Popular: The show, which is a fresh take on iconic 1980s series Prisoner, has garnered plenty of critical acclaim, winning several AACTA and Logie awards over the years



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