Australian actor Zoe Terakes has locked up a role in Wentworth playing a transgender male inmate in the final seasons of the beloved prison drama.
Production on the prison drama’s eighth season kicked off in Melbourne last Friday.
And Foxtel has announced newcomers Kate Box, Jane Hall and Zoe Terakes will join the show’s returning cast.
Zoe will play Rebel “Reb” Keane, the show’s first transgender male character.
The actor, who identifies as non-binary, said Reb’s struggle as a male in a female prison becomes a major storyline.
“I’ve never seen a cisgender person tell a transgender story 100 per cent believably,” Terakes told IF.
“There is a level of authenticity in representation that comes when you have somebody who gets it, feels it in their bones and they have lived it.”
When he was younger, Reb’s parents sent him to a cult-like “rehabilitation” clinic to try and “cure” his gender dysphoria.
Terakes also teases that Reb finds love during his stint in Wentworth.
“When I read the brief I felt I just had to do this role; I was drawn to it immediately,” they said.
The actor shared photos from the set on Instagram, proclaiming the role “a dream come true” for them.
“Playing a genderqueer role AND playing Kate Box’s boyfriend AND working with all the other disgustingly talented people on this show,” Terakes wrote.
“I have to keep pinching myself.”
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— Franky Doyle (@FrankyDoyle) October 24, 2019
Wentworth returns for two more seasons after fan campaign
Meanwhile, Kate Box will play the character of career criminal Lou Kelly, a former Wentworth “top dog” who’s returning to the prison.
Neighbours actress Jane Hall will play Wentworth’s tough new general manager Ann Reynolds.
The new Wentworth season opens following the bloody siege and the death of two major characters last season.
All three of the newcomers are playing iconic roles drawn from the original Prisoner series.
Cast members returning to Wentworth’s final season include Pamela Rabe, Kate Atkinson, Leah Purcell and Susie Porter.
Last November, fans mobilised after rumours circulated the show had been cancelled.
As a result, Foxtel later confirmed 20 more episodes of the show. The episodes will screen across two final seasons from next year and stretching into 2021.
Wentworth has been a huge success over the course of its run, screening in over 160 countries.
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