She’s a bonafide part of New Zealand television folklore, having played pivotal roles in both Outrageous Fortune and its prequel, Westside. But as the legend of the West family finally concludes next week, actor Antonia Prebble feels nothing but a satisfied closure at saying goodbye to both Rita and Loretta West. We chat to the Kiwi star about endings, new beginnings (check out her podcast The Most of It) and what’s next for herself, finance and Westside co-star Dan Musgrove and baby Freddie.
Hey Antonia? How’re you doing today? How’s your 2020 treating you?
Hi! I’m good, thank you – and you know, in some ways, I think being an actor has really prepared me for 2020, I think I’m used to uncertainty because I’ve spent my whole career feeling it! I started from such a young age not knowing what my next move is, or what my next job is or where my next pay check is coming from. So, I’m kind of used to rolling in this kind of environment of uncertainty and shifting boundaries.
Has anything changed for you this year, personally and professionally?
Yeah,I mean I know it’s been a difficult time for everybody! I was supposed to be in America in September, I have some new management over there. I used to go to LA for a few months of the year until three or four years ago when I had a baby, so I haven’t been back for a while. I was gonna restart the process again.
So there have been significant changes to the plans, but I’ve never felt more grateful to live in New Zealand, or how our government has handled the situation so deftly. You just have to look at pretty much every other country and see the devastating position they’re in.
It’s insane, right? But have you had any unexpected upsides of 2020 for you?
It’s been a year of reflection, you know – about my life and my place in my own country, and globally too. And also, what it means to live in New Zealand and I’m feeling really, really grateful and proud to live here.
And of course this year marks a huge chapter in your life finally ending right, with Westside coming to a close, which followed the much loved Outrageous Fortune. You’ve been a West for more than 15 years – how does it feel to finally say goodbye?
Surreal – and very moving. I often find it hard to fully acknowledge what something means in the moment. You have a certain slice of that experience, but it’s only in the coming days and weeks that you truly feel it and it sinks further down into your system.
And it couldn’t have gone better – the lovely production team had scheduled the last day so the very final scene was me on my own, and it was this very lovely, symbolic thing where I got to set fire to a thing that was very significant to Rita.
We all gathered in the living room of the house, and I spoke and then [fiance and Westside co-star] Dan and [son] Freddie came out to see me.
Well that’s fitting – considering you met Dan on the set of Westside, and Freddie’s grown up on the set!
Exactly – my personal and professional life is all interwoven around this show! When they came out, it was this most beautiful coming together of my personal and professional lives, me standing there in full costume holding Freddie, I mean, he’s a Westside baby! So it really felt perfect for me, this lovely sense of closure that did justice for such a significant part of my life.
What an awesome experience to have had – all of your big life moments are so connected.
And yeah, it’s funny looking back – you can see how everything fits together. I remember bidding for our house in the makeup room!
It changed my life in so many ways – I mean, Outrageous was so pivotal for me because it really elevated my career. And it taught me so much about acting, and gave me such a strong foothold in my career. I’ll always be grateful.
Watch the series finale of Westside, Monday, 8.30pm on Three