We're massive fans of Wentworth Prison here at Female First, and couldn't miss out on the fantastic opportunity of chatting to season two's new inmate Maxine, played by Socratis Otto.

Socratis Otto

This is what he had to say about taking on a challenging and exciting new role:

On the decision to play Maxine

"To play a role like this... if it's dangling in front of me I'm gonna take it. It's not every day you get to be challenged like this. That's what we want as actors, we wanna push boundaries."

On Maxine's personality and her crime after her partner chopped her hair off whilst she slept

"She's a really really sensitive girl. She's only recently transitioned in the past six months - she had male to female genital reassignment surgery."

"It's such a blur, she calls the police and tells them exactly what happened, and she's trying to determine exactly it is that happened, or why he would do that.

She's so in love with him because he was the only person who ever accepted her and she wanted to hold on to that, and tell him why she stabbed him."

On the reception Maxine has had in Australia

"For me Daniel it was trying to not necessarily educate but just to present a character, a transgender that would make audiences question their own approach and their own stereotypes about transsexuals.

"I guess what I'm saying is I wasn't very educated, I thought transsexuals or transitioning was one thing, I didn't realise there's so many terms under the umbrella of 'trans', but because it's not something I really knew too much of, I thought my opportunity was to present a character that wasn't a stereotype but had the same tendancies and feelings and attractions and vulnerabilities as anyone would, male or female, they feel the same anxieties and they have numerous points in their lives, felt like the odd man or woman out. So, if anything I just held onto that and I think because I did, the audience back in Australia during season two have really embraced her, they accepted her and believed in her.

"It wasn't anything that was like 'this reinforces my stereotype' or 'this isn't real', they accepted it and believed it and I think that's great, because that made me think: 'OK, people are a lot more open and understanding of what trans means'."

On the other inmates and their thoughts when Maxine enters the prison

"They do see her as a physical threat. There are some inmates that say 'look, let's take her on to our team, we can have the muscle', but Maxine doesn't operate that way. She's not a violent person by nature at all, so she might struggle with that."

On getting prepared for filming

"Usually I'm the first on the chair, so I arrive when it's dark! (laughs) It takes about 90 minutes to initially [apply the make-up].

"When I finish filming they have to do a double take and go 'oh God, it's you!' I know that Danielle Cormack who plays Bea says that a lot!"

On working with the Wentworth cast and crew

"They're such an incredible crew, what they've done. They identify that this is an original drama series that's been shot, and it's been received so well that I think it really vigorates them more and more. Whether it's a confrontational scene or an easy scene there's such a unity, and most of the time we leave work feeling terrific. We're lucky to experience this, which is kind of weird if you think of the show and the premise of the show and the story and how everything is, but I think everyone gives so much into it that we can separate ourselves as well, and keep pushing ourselves to get better and better."

On summing up season two of Wentworth Prison

"The best job, for me! But this season, it tops the first."

On his future work and endeavours

"I have a film coming out in Australia, I don't know if it's been sold internationally, it's called My Mistress, and it has Emmanuelle Béart in, she was in Mission Impossible and a few other things, she's a brilliant actress, and I play her lover - it's shot in Brisbane in Australia."

Wentworth Prison returns to Channel 5 this September.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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