Westside stars on what they don't miss about the 1980s

Antonia Prebble as Rita West in Westside.

Antonia Prebble as Rita West in Westside.

Westside, TV3's Sunday night drama set in 1981, is winning critical acclaim nationwide, but there are some things about the 80s its stars are happy to leave behind.

Antonia Prebble – Rita

The far more conservative, bigoted views that were held back then. Homophobia and racism are two of the really big ones that are in the forefront of this series of Westside, and although I don't think by any stretch we are 100 per cent solved on those problems, at least legally there's better representation for homosexuals now than there used to be.

David de Lautour as Ted West.

David de Lautour as Ted West.

David de Lautour – Ted

One of the big things that really stuck out to me when I was reading the scripts for Westside was the difference in relationships. Couples would come to a party and then go off in their separate directions. We've come so far from that now that it seems foreign.

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Reef Ireland as Wolf West.

Reef Ireland as Wolf West.

Reef Ireland – Wolf

Sexism and racism but also just as important are those rotary dial phones that you roll. They're just dangerous. If you need to call triple 1 it's a 15-minute thing

1 ……… 1 ……… 1 ……… and if it was a real emergency you're dead. You're already dead before you get to the second 1, so I'm glad that's gone.

Sophie Hambleton as Carol.

Sophie Hambleton as Carol.

Sophie Hambleton – Carol

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The mullets, the pineapple fringes, and the style of jeans, those kind of weird, high-waisted ones that made everyone's bum look like it'd been dragged upwards.

I'm also pleased we left behind the attitudes towards homosexuals, the fact that it was illegal still in 1981. And at least women can have a job now and we've had a female Prime Minister twice.

Todd Emerson as Bilkey.

Todd Emerson as Bilkey.

Todd Emerson – Bilkey

The sexual politics. This season of Westside is set in 1981 and it's still five years away from homosexual law reform, so as a man who is married to a man, I'm pretty pleased that struggle has passed.

I'm actually quite fond of the hair and some of the clothes, although the materials that they used were just so hot and so unbreathable.

Esther Stephens as Ngaire.

Esther Stephens as Ngaire.

Esther Stephens – Ngaire

I'm not a fan of 80s style. When we first went into hair and make-up for the new season of Westside, I said to the girls, 'I know my hair is not my hair, I know it's Ngaire's hair but I just can't deal with it if you guys cut me a pineapple fringe'. 

Although I find them quite delightful as sort of a relic from the past.

Jordan Mauger (otherwise known as this year's Bachelor NZ) as Rod Nugent.

Jordan Mauger (otherwise known as this year's Bachelor NZ) as Rod Nugent.

Jordan Mauger – Rod Nugent

I hate that they discontinued the manufacture of the DMC-12 Delorean in 1983. A car made famous in the Back To The Future franchise.

Ahead-of-its-time design which still turns heads today and a true motoring and 80s icon.

Dan Musgrove as Lefty.

Dan Musgrove as Lefty.

Dan Musgrove – Lefty

The backward thinking of the time, which was world over but perhaps was even stronger in New Zealand because we're further away from the rest of the world.

Lefty represents a very strong version of conservatism in Westside and I'm pleased we've left those views behind. ­

TV Guide is in stores every Thursday.

TV Guide is in stores every Thursday.

Westside, TV3, Sundays.

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 - TV Guide

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