Emily Weir, who plays Mackenzie Booth on Home and Away, has stated that she is in grave risk as a result of her illicit gambling venture.
After a rejected insurance claim following a dangerous gas leak in the restaurant over Christmas, the Salt owner has been in debt.
Mackenzie was disdainful when Felicity Newman (Jacqui Purvis) suggested holding illicit poker evenings at Salt.
“She burst out laughing!” Emily from Home and Away said, “She thought it was amusing and it was kind of a joke, but then she realised Felicity was serious.”
“As time went on, and her financial worries got more pressing, she became more receptive to the concept, and Felicity was quite compelling.”
“She feels a great deal of shame about the debt because it is a part of her identity as a businesswoman.”
“When a piece of her identity is taken away from her, she puts on a poker face to convince others that everything is fine.”
With the nights going strong and the money rolling in, Mackenzie appears to have succumbed to the seductive allure of high-stakes gambling.
“Isn’t it exciting?” says the narrator. It’s not permitted, it’s underground, it’s clandestine, and there’s a thrill element to it,” Emily added.
Mack is relieved when one of the regular players, Nathan (Ryan Panizza), returns her money after being emotionally bullied into doing so for a debt.
His persistence on bringing his mystery friend PK (Ryan Johnson) to the table, though, makes her feel uneasy.
“She can see he has a bit of an ego,” Emily explained, “but he’s somehow incredibly significant just because of the way Nathan acts around him.”
“However, Mackenzie has seen the benefits of money coming in, so when PK dangles the carrot and says, ‘Hey, I’ll pay this money to be a part of the evening,’ she can’t say no.”
“She tells Felicity that she needs to evict some individuals from the table to make room for PK. She is scared of him, but she also believes she is capable of extracting what she requires from him at that time.
“It’s almost like a business decision with big dollar bill signs all over it.”
Mackenzie may see the dollar signs, but she doesn’t see the red flags!
After PK persuades Mack to keep a suspicious Felicity away from the poker nights, things get even shadier.
Emily teased that things would get real after that, and that the poker nights would start off a chain of frightening occurrences…
“They have a disastrous effect on almost everyone, in some way,” she explained.
“It gets vicious, and there’s a lot of drama and passion!” There are many secrets revealed, as well as breakups and near-death situations.
“There’s a lot crammed in, and the ripple effect of these poker nights really takes the bay by storm for a lot of people.”
Could Mack be on the verge of losing Salt for good? Since her arrival in 2019, she’s been in charge of the restaurant, and we can’t imagine her doing anything else!
“As the story unfolds, the possibility of Mack losing Salt becomes more and more, and she does reach a point where it’s quite evident she could lose everything,” Emily said.
“She’s highly attached to her profession as a character, whereas other characters’ work is the second or third thing about them.”
“Mackenzie at the bait shop or Mackenzie in the diner!” What do you think? Putting the bait together or peeling prawns! Salt is, without a doubt, her realm.
“She still hangs out on the Salt balcony, but you’ll have to wait and see if she keeps it!”
Weekdays at 1:15 p.m. on Channel 5 and 6:00 p.m. on 5Star, Home and Away airs.