‘Filthy Rich’ script changed after star Shushila Takao refused to utter lines

By @chelean on
New Zealand soap "Filthy Rich"
New Zealand soap "Filthy Rich" Facebook/filthyrichnz

“Filthy Rich” had to change some lines in the script after one of its stars thought her line was too filthy. Kiwi actress Shushila Takao refused to utter blasphemous and swear words from her lines due to her religious beliefs and upbringing.

The producers of the TVNZ series agreed to remove the problematic lines from the script after Takao objected from uttering them. These words included “Jesus” and “Oh my God.”

“I don’t think those sort of lines would be representative of my character and it was encouraging that my suggestions and ideas were listened to,” Takao told the Herald on Sunday. “I’m not a practicing Christian at the moment but I was brought up in a strict faith by my mum and I still have those strong values and morals.”

Takao, who is raised as Jehovah’s Witness, plays the prim schoolteacher Ariana in the Kiwi soap drama. She said the original lines didn’t feel quite right to her, so she asked for them to be kept “clean and quite innocent.”

“The writers were brilliant about it and when I did eventually deliver an appropriate swear word it had much more impact because people weren’t expecting it,” she commended the show’s scriptwriters.

A spokesperson for the show, on the other hand, said the revised script made Takao’s character “so much more real.”

“Filthy Rich” is about three illegitimate children who discover they are entitled to the fortune of one of New Zealand’s wealthiest men. TVNZ has yet to decide on the future of the soap until the current season wraps, according to Stuff. The show received NZ$8.25 million (AU$7.44 million) in funding from New Zealand on Air, the highest ever offered to a single drama, but TVNZ said it would wait until the season wraps up before it can assess its next move.

The show’s final episode for the first and current season airs April 18 in New Zealand. It will air a day later in Australia.