Actress Maggie Kirkpatrick, interviewed by Andrew Mercado, talks about her work on the Australian soap opera PRISONER, playing corrupt officer Joan 'The Freak' Ferguson. This is an excerpt from the Oral History that Kirkpatrick recorded for the NFSA on 29 September 2003.
In this interview, Maggie Kirkpatrick recalls that she didn't get the role she first auditioned for: Vera Bennett (played by Fiona Spence). She was later offered the role of bent screw Joan Ferguson in 1981.
'The minute they put the uniform on and slipped my hair back, there she was. It's not about going away and researching sadistic, corrupt screws in prison. I'm sure that's purely fictional. So there she was, and that first day on the set I was terribly nervous.'
Kirkpatrick talks about the impact the role and the show had in her life and her career, how she disagreed with certain storylines, and what she learned from her four years playing the character.