Queer Actors Playing Queer Roles Is A Rare Thing: Lunch With Kate Box

Chickpea, sweet potato and box’s okra tagine with fennel, grapefruit and orange salad.Credit:Foxtel / Sarah Enticknap

“It’s been a very good year,” Box said. “Rake has always been a great gig for me, and it kind of set me up, but afterwards Riot things really… picked up. I feel like I just had the opportunity to play great characters as well. “

Earlier this year she starred in the film produced by Cate Blanchett Stateless, about Australia’s immigrant detention system, and played an evil government agent in the dystopian teenage drama The unlisted. Last year there was his brief but memorable role in Law, alongside Tim Minchin, and her role as Lauren “Lozza” Johnson, a wild publicist in the adaptation of the Robert G. Barrett classic The Nortons novels.

“Playing this sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll hungry guy – a character I never thought I would be played for. And yet, once I’m dead in the middle of it, I’m like ‘Of course I can play it. “I just feel like I muster a little more courage as an actor in my old years, you know? I’m 41,” Box says. “C ‘s like 75 years of acting. “

Originally from Adelaide, Box graduated from NIDA in 2003 and has worked consistently since, across stage, film and television. As well as AACTA for Riot, she was nominated for an AACTA for the film 2018 The little death and earned a Helpmann nomination the same year for Sydney Theater Company’s Top Girls.

Box says joining the cast of <i>Wentworth</i> is "throbbing". “loading =” lazy “src =” https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.26%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_652%2C$y_0 / t_crop_custom / q_86% 2Cf_auto / bac4459f3798e5b4dd06d44fefe857f2a5127675 “height =” 240 “width =” 160 “srcset =” https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.26%2C$2ratiply.6666$0$ % 2C $ width_378% 2C $ x_652% 2C $ y_0 / t_crop_custom / q_86% 2Cf_auto / bac4459f3798e5b4dd06d44fefe857f2a5127675, https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom$0.26%y666666 2C $ width_378% 2C $ x_652% 2C $ y_0 / t_crop_custom / q_62% 2Cf_auto / bac4459f3798e5b4dd06d44fefe857f2a5127675 2x “/></picture></div><figcaption class=

Box says to join the cast of Wentworth is “exciting”.Credit:Foxtel / Sarah Enticknap

She and her 11-year-old partner, actor and writer Jada Alberts (who also starred in Wentworth‘s first season in 2013), travel regularly for work, with their three young children.

Earlier this year, they spent several months in Broome while Alberts was filming Mystery Route, before landing in Melbourne for Wentworth.

“And now we’re prisoners,” she jokes. “What an incredible time to get together as a family! “

Their kids are one, three, and four, and now that the playgrounds are closed, there has been, says Box, “a lot of crafts. So much glitter! Most of the time it was wonderful, and more. early on we could leave the house and do things, but now every second sentence from my second oldest is “because of that bad cold,” she said. “But we have a backyard for them to say. can run. We do a lot of crafts, a lot of cooking. Jada even made a sourdough – it really happened! “

Box enjoys cooking at home, although less since having three children and “cooks 87 different meals for the family.”


“Cooking with kids is a little different! But like a lot of people in confinement, I got stuck in it,” she says. “I am sometimes guilty of being a person who values ​​quantity over quality – I really like food, which is why this portion-controlled lunchbox is quite good.”

Before the last lockdown, the lunch break on the set was a bit of a social occasion, but now the food is in bento-style boxes, giving it a proper prison air.

The food itself, from veteran film caterers Hel’s Kitchen, looks awesome; the tagine of chickpeas, sweet potatoes and okra with fennel, grapefruit and orange salad, Foule medamis (bean stew) with capsicum and babaghanoush relish, hummus, pickles and flatbread – that shames my toastie.

“It’s amazing,” Box says. “But the desserts are way too mouth-watering – you are still very thankful that you only wear one tracksuit in this show!”

The move to the regular buffet on the set prompts us to reflect on changes in the hospitality industry that may come into effect after COVID. We both look forward to the end of the buffet and the concept of a table to share.

“What about those little bowls and salt and pepper? We always knew it was never right,” Box says.

We will likely see them on TV shows in the future and be able to come out with a TV show or movie immediately.

“We’ll see people kissing and being able to tell that the cameras are tilted a certain way – and then they’ll be muted,” Box explains. “No one has sex in prison anymore – and they’ve started fighting with brooms!”

Even though, for the final season, Box may have to fight his fellow inmates with a 1.5-meter ruler instead of a homemade shiv, part of Wentworth for the past two seasons is “exciting”.

“I was a big fan, and it’s a show with huge stakes, all the time. There’s a lot of humor, love, relationships and complexity. It feels like you’re doing a real adventure story. “

Box is Lou “Fingers” Kelly, a former Wentworth inmate (and “top dog”) whose reputation precedes her; there’s a reason she’s known as the Fingers. She has been charged with theft, but this time she has her partner with her, Reb Keane (Zoe Terakes), a young transgender man, and Lou fiercely protects him; the couple were caught stealing a jewelry store in order to pay for Reb’s gender reassignment surgery.

“It’s such a great script. Zoe is just spectacular; they pack so much punch and so much vulnerability at the same time, and they’re so political in the world outside of Wentworth“Box says.” They speak very well of the queer community, pronouns, and the trans community – they’re a great advocate and a voice to attach to something like that. “

For Box, too, being a queer actor playing a queer role is refreshing.

“You never happen to have two queer actors playing queer roles in mainstream television; it’s a pretty rare thing. You feel that responsibility, but it’s also really exciting and really liberating.”

As for the sequel, Box, like all of his peers right now, can’t be sure.

“I’ll miss reading these scripts and saying, I must do what? But all of my upcoming adventures have a TBC attached to them, ”she says. And besides, she has to go through the airport hotel lockdown and quarantine first when she, Jada and the kids return to Sydney.

“We’re going to need more glitter.”

Wentworth is on Foxtel, Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m.

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