Westside filming begins in west Auckland
Todd Emerson called, he wants the 80s back.
And it looks like his wish is about to be granted, because October 30 onwards cast and crew start filming for the third season of the popular TV3 drama Westside.
Emerson plays the role of Bjelke Van Heeder, or Bilkey, in the series that is set in the "fascinating decade that was the 1980s".
"It was a fun time, with the hair and the clothes. And just everything that was happening back then was so interesting," the Avondale resident says.
Westside is a prequel to TV3 series Outrageous Fortune.
It is shot in various Waitakere locations including New Lynn, Henderson Valley and the Avondale Racecourse.
Talking about his character, Bilkey, the actor says he pretends to be a ladies man but that is because he is trying to hide a secret.
"He is a closeted gay you see. Towards the end of the last season he had started being honest about himself - maybe we will see more of it this time. I hope he will continue on the same trajectory."
Emerson says he enjoys playing Bilkey but is not much like him in real life.
"I love him as a character and it is really interesting playing him in the 1980s because homosexual law reform had not happened yet and to be gay, especially in a gang of criminals, was not acceptable.
"Today, we have come far from those sort of attitudes, but it's amazing to think about it - that time was not very long ago."
To get into his character, the 32-year-old will even be getting a perm.
"I got it done for the first season and when they were working with my hair I noticed a really strong chemical smell.
In fact a little bit later, people walking down the hall noticed it too. So I knew I wasn't imagining it. Some even came in and told us about their perm stories."
Emerson says the hairstyling process takes about two hours in total.
"They wash your hair and apply some sort of liquid and then add rollers. Then you wash it out and that's it, your hair's curled."
TV3 is yet to confirm season three premiere dates for Westside.