Nothing Trivial stars coming to the Bay

By Annemarie Quill

Pergo Et Perago, ''I undertake and I achieve'', the motto of Tauranga Boys' College is still recited by old boy and actor Shane Cortese.

''Tauranga is home to me, I like the feeling of coming home as everyone does, I also love Tauranga Boys' College.''

Cortese will be back here at the end of the month to be Master of Ceremony at High Tea by the Sea, a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research Trust, for which he and wife Nerida are ambassadors, along with a host of other Kiwi celebrities including Petra Bagust, Trelise Cooper, Jackie Brown and Karen Walker.

Cortese said he and Nerida had been approached by the CEO after Trelise Cooper had recommended them.

By not knowing anyone directly affected by the disease, Cortese says: ''I consider myself one of the few and lucky ones.''

The college motto is particularly apt for Cortese who is one of New Zealand's most recognisable actors.

Best known for his role as Mac in TVNZ hit drama Nothing Trivial, as Hayden Peters in five series of Outrageous Fortune, and his two-year leading role on drama serial Shortland Street as evil Dominic Thompson-a character killed off in spectacular fashion.

He has also had a successful theatre career in London's West End, and here, and fronts his own rock 'n' roll band, The Class of 58, which has played all over New Zealand with a portion of album sales going to the Starship Foundation.

Cortese supported music legends Gerry and the Pacemakers on their tour of New Zealand recently.

He has also appeared alongside Johnny Devlin on a special New Zealand tour.

He has recently entered the business world, owning the New Zealand franchise for inspirational speakers agency ICMI. And he has his own tale to tell.

''I tell the story of giving up travel to work in the West End and ultimately television.''

Cortese is hoping to bring his screen buddy, Blair Strang, who plays plumber Brian in Nothing Trivial, with him. Is Shane like his character Mac?

''I look a lot like him.'' Unlike his previous Shortland Street character, Mac doesn't have a dark side.

''It's simply not that kind of show. He's a real and genuine man hell bent on raising his children well despite the situation he now finds himself in.''

A key tension in the show is Mac's relationship with Catherine (Tandi Wright).

''They are destined to be together but there are walls that are stopping them, mainly her relationship with the father of her child. There is a lot of storytelling yet.''

This series has also seen him in sex scenes with his fellow former Shortland Street star, actress Laura Hill. The scenes did not faze him, being the ''same as doing sex scenes with every other actress I have worked with, well choreographed and in a room full of people including boom operators hanging over your head''.

Cortese would still like to get into film, but is rooted to New Zealand and now lives in Auckland with Nerida and the kids, with close ties to Tauranga.

''As I want to keep doing television, I have no plans to go to the States, that's a single man's game.''

He also will keep up with his singing.

''We have been together for coming up 10 years and I have close mates within that band as you could imagine working that close for that amount of time,'' he said.

''Being an actor allows me to be a rock star every now and then.''

- Bay of Plenty Times

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