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EXCLUSIVE: Wentworth star Kate Jenkinson says she wants to die on the show

''All the best characters die on Wentworth, so I greedily want to be a part of that.''

By Tamara Cullen
When TV WEEK meets Kate Jenkinson on the set of comedy drama Doctor Doctor, there's not a teal jumpsuit in sight. Her hair is immaculate, her outfit smart and the smile bright.
It's a sight to behold, particularly as the Wentworth star has been in prison jump suits for four seasons. But in her exciting new venture as Dr Tara Khourdair, a careless physician serving probation in Whyhope, Kate's soaking up a fresh atmosphere.
Comedy is where Kate first found her feet as an actress. Image: TV Week/ Bauer Syndication
"Oh, my God – yes," she says with a laugh when the topic is brought to her attention. "I used to always joke that Wentworth is my perfect job because I get to wear a tracksuit every day. But after four solid years in prison teals, it's really nice to wear a pair of cute boots, have a bit of concealer on and my hair brushed in the morning!"
Between scenes on a gorgeous country estate in Camden, NSW, site of the fictional Knight family homestead, Kate, 38, admits that life is greener on this side of the prison fence.
"It's really nice to be a part of a show that's light and funny," she says. "The humour in Wentworth is dark and twisted, and necessary because the show is so dense. It [Doctor Doctor] has been an antidote, of sorts, to the grey subject matter I usually deal with. I've realised how much I miss comedy and this style of TV series."
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In fact, comedy is where Kate first found her feet as an actress. Roles in The Wedge, Bogan Pride and Newstopia saw her star alongside comedy heavyweights such as Rebel Wilson, Shaun Micallef and Kat Stewart.
In the evolving landscape of modern television, Kate has struck an enviable balance between several genres.
Viewers and critics have loved Wentworth and Doctor Doctor, with both shows nominated for several TV WEEK Logie Awards.
Kate plays a talented but troubled doctor on Doctor Doctor. Image: Channel Nine
Kate is also starring in the new comedy drama Five Bedrooms, alongside Stephen Peacocke and her former co-star Kat Stewart.
Kate takes a moment to think about the two big shows she's had the good fortune to be part of, before adding, "This has been one of the highlights of my career.
"You don't often think about it… the reaction that a show has on a wider scale. We're [actors] quite a self-centred lot, because our focus tends to largely be on whether we're employed or not.
"It's rare to be part of two separate shows that people are enjoying, and also being accepted on a critical level.
"I certainly make sure I take the time to appreciate that, because I've been in this industry long enough to know moments in the sun don't always last forever."
In Doctor Doctor, Hugh [Rodger Corser] meets his match in Tara... Image: Channel Nine
For now, however, her career looks to be shining bright as she navigates her next move. Kate is always looking ahead.
"I, along with pretty much every other actor on the planet, am constantly battling feeling like a total fraud," she says. "I certainly have moments of that.
"I sometimes get asked to teach. When I walked into my first class, I thought, 'Holy crap, what do I really know about this business? But in that, you reignite your passion or spark."
WATCH: Katie Roberts from Five Bedrooms take on TV WEEK 2 minute challenge. Story continues below...
While fans eagerly wait for season eight of Wentworth, Kate has already peered around the corner to envision her character's fate – although it's not exactly what we may want to hear.
"All the best characters die on Wentworth, so I greedily want to be a part of that tradition. She can go down fighting," she says with a grin.
"When it comes to making television, why not push the boundaries? Jump the shark and see what happens. Who knows where it can lead?
"I love being involved in risky TV – you never know where your character has had enough. And right now [in her career], I'm exactly where I need to be."
Wentworth stars (from left) Rarrjwuy Hick, Kate and Leash Purcell love a good read! Image: Instagram

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