With a long list of success on both sides of the Tasman, Kiwi actor Craig Hall has won a role on Shortland Street - returning to Ferndale where he started his career with a minor role 21 years ago.
Hall is keeping his character tightly under wraps but it sounds like the street is in for the entrance of quite the Casanova.
"All I can say is that he thinks he is quite the mover and shaker and the only long-term relationship he will ever have is with his phone. And he has more than one connection to Ferndale," Hall tells Spy.
"I had actually forgotten how fast filming is on Shortland Street and heading into the studio following the production shutdown, was like walking into a well-oiled machine that hadn't actually downed tools at all. It's a credit to the team," he says.
It's been a busy 2020 for both Hall and wife Sara Wiseman, who famously played husband and wife on the hit Aussie drama A Place Called Home.
Before lockdown they found themselves unable to return to Australia where Wiseman had been filming. He says lockdown gave them a chance to spend time together in Pāuanui and take a moment to just be and have some fun together with some skits on social media and now he is enjoying his time filming Shortland Street.
On Tuesday evening, the pair were sparkling at the premiere of another local show starring Hall, Head High at the Capitol Cinema on Dominion Rd. Hall was blown away by the show, which premieres next Sunday night on Three.
He has the lead role as Vince O'Kane, father and rugby coach in the drama set in the home of a struggling but hopeful working-class family.
"I feel like Head High captures the true spirit of the New Zealander - hardy, passionate, generous and funny," Hall says.
"The characters, and the way they deal with the real problems they face, will be very familiar to the larger audience, and I feel that the audience will love these people as they recognise themselves in one or all of them. Oh, and there is some "mean as" rugby in it."
The actor loved the community and whānau that was created during filming.
"Before we started every day there was a karakia, uniting us all on our journey and in our mahi, delivering a sense of love and belonging to the production."
Hall describes his character, Vince, as a loveable guy, driven in his pursuit of making a great rugby team and great young men.
"Rugby and family are his all, but he sometimes becomes very one-minded, and the line between the two can get blurry ... and get him into a lot of trouble," he says.
Hall says the characters are so uniquely different, yet are a strong family unit.
"The actors developed their own relationships with each other as actors/characters off screen and I think we see these on screen, making for a believable and loving TV family."