Reef Ireland has joined the cast of Westside as the latest incarnation of the notorious Wolfgang West.
The New Zealand born/Australian-raised actor will be familiar to New Zealand television audiences from his recent television roles in hit shows such as Wentworth and Puberty Blues.As a long-time fan of Outrageous Fortune, Reef says this is a dream role. “I was really, really keen on this part because I was a huge fan of the original series. I wouldn’t have ever thought that one day I’d be doing the prequel to Outrageous Fortune – especially playing a great part like Wolf.”
Ireland credits family for his love of the original Outrageous Fortune series. “My family were massive fans of Outrageous Fortune when it aired in Australia. They loved all the New Zealand references and they thought the show was hilarious.”
For his latest role, opposite Kerry Fox in Grant Scicluna’s Toronto-premiered Downriver, Ireland has been nominated for the Best Acting award at the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards, which run in Brisbane late next month.
After attending the Toronto premiere, Ireland travelled to LA and met with Grant Bowler, who played Wolf in Outrageous Fortune.
“When I got the part my American manager mentioned that he knew Grant Bowler – they were mates. My manager hadn’t seen Outrageous but he knew that Grant was in it so he offered to email Grant and arrange a meeting. I went and visited Grant at his place in Venice Beach. We talked about the character and he was really helpful and totally up for anything I wanted to ask him. He had plenty of stuff to tell me – he was great.”
Westside Wolf is not yet the hardened criminal that Bowler portrayed in Outrageous Fortune, but Ireland is already having fun walking in Wolf’s boots. “I’m really enjoying playing him because he’s a great character that I can really get into. And’s he’s a tough dude. I reckon if all the characters I’ve played to date ever had a fight, Wolf would win.”
Westside season 2 comprises 10 x 1 hour episode and will screen on TV3 in 2016. The series is funded by New Zealand on Air.