It was a night of high emotion last Saturday as the cast and crew of Westside finished work on the sixth and final season of one of NZ's best-loved productions.
After six successful seasons, the series came to a natural conclusion when prequel series Westside caught up with original series Outrageous Fortune.
Filming wrapped on the final season last week and the Westside gang let their hair down, leaving behind 80s perms and Westie threads to get glammed up and finally able to dress in clothing more in line with today – at a party held at the Birdcage in Central Auckland.
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Pre-drinks were held at a swanky central Auckland apartment, with family matriarch Rita West, aka Antonia Prebble, dressed to kill in a fitted bubblegum-pink shoestring-strap dress.
Spy hears a great night was had by all. There have been accounts of people losing their shoes on the dance floor, after shimmering till all hours, as everyone sent the award-winning drama off with a massive celebration. Of note, there were no bar brawls or crime escapades unlike the alter egos of the cast.
"It was really bittersweet to say farewell to the series once and for all," says Jessica Grace Smith, who played the young Cheryl West.
"Cheryl is such a kickass female, it's not often you come across a role that is written so well and so fun to play. We are like a big family, everyone is super close and I love my cast mates - we often catch up outside of work which makes the end of Westside a little easier. The wrap party was a great time and really important to have that closure and celebrate what has been a really amazing experience."
Reef Ireland, who played Wolfgang West in the series, had hoped to jet straight home to Melbourne the day after the wrap party, but given current lockdown circumstances across the Tasman, has decided he may have to stay longer in New Zealand.
The actor was forced to spend the New Zealand lockdown alone in his own bubble and as he has not seen his family since the beginning of the year, he is struggling a little with the continual setbacks Covid-19 has created.
"It was really tricky to be completely alone for the duration of lockdown here in New Zealand, but there really wasn't any point in going all the way home and then having to come back to wait another two weeks in isolation, so I made the most of it and read a lot of books and did a lot of zoom chats," he says.
"I was so pleased when we were able to get back to work so I could finally hang out with people again. Now, it's proving tricky to get home to Melbourne so I'll have to stay here longer than planned. I'm really missing my girlfriend and my dog at the moment. But I have a great base of friends over here so I'll make the most of the extra time in my birth country and keep hoping I can get back to my family as soon as possible."