My first job was ...

at Hoyts Cinema. I cleaned up the theatres after films and served behind the snacks counter.

It taught me ... that I should always buy my lollies from the dairy and sneak them into a film. I ain't got the time or money for those pick 'n' mix mark-ups, plus contraband always tastes sweeter.

My big break came ... probably when it was suggested to me, after a school production role, that I should find an agent. I didn't even understand what an agent was or what they did, plus I had never considered acting professionally as a possibility and certainly not a viable career option.


The last job I quit was ... I worked for my dad at his accounting and business services agency and left, with no notice, when I got Shorty. The most understanding and supportive boss you could imagine haha ... Sorry Dad! Love you!

The most famous person I've ever met is ... I lived in America for a couple of years, so there were lots. Probably the most famous was Kim Basinger, when my then-boyfriend shot a film with her. Gosh, she is the sweetest, most beautiful person. Jeff Bridges - what a powerhouse! Peter Dinklage was so easy-going and extremely patient - I talked his ear off about my then-favourite film, The Station Agent. Ed Sheeran, who appeared on Shorty, was disarmingly chill and super-friendly.

The best time I've had on set was ... I love anytime I am on set with Jennifer Ludlam. She is a phenomenal actor to watch and makes me laugh every day. I also love physical action, so the stunt work on Power Rangers was awesome. And I shot a film about an earthquake, where the entire set was built on hydraulics so basically the direction was "attempt to crawl from A to B but remember to avoid C when it explodes and D when it collapses". I loved that!

But the worst was ... probably watching as my stuntwoman broke her ankle doing a fall from the top of a cave. More selfishly, I did a shoot that involved being in a waterfall all day and I became hypothermic. I recall someone calling out "more lipstick for Sally; her lips are still too blue".

My dream project would be action/thriller film with guns and dogs and Jen Ludlam.

• Sally Martin stars as Nicole Kruse-Miller in Shortland Street, weekdays, 7pm on TVNZ2.