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Go Girls


Q & A with Johnny Barker

Johnny Barker as Joel in Go Girls on TV2

How did you feel joining Go Girls in its third season? Were you a fan prior to landing the role?

To be honest, I was thrilled. This is my first time back on NZ screens since playing Joey on Shorty, so I've been looking forward to having some fun in front of the camera for quite some time. I have been a fan of the show from a distance. I've enjoyed catching the occasional episodes whenever I've managed to find time to slow down and watch some good NZ tele. However, when I came close to landing the role, I rented Go Girls season one and two and smashed the lot over a weekend. After that, I was hooked!

Can you give a brief description of Joel?

Joel is a musician trying to make the most of the hand he's been dealt. He's a talented guy musically but not the most organised kid you'll ever meet. He drives a cab to make ends meet but doesn't complain about. Frankly, Joel is a lonely character who is simply trying to get his act together. (All you need is love?) 

How did you get along with the rest of the cast in Go Girls?

What a bunch of characters! We all got on just fine. They are a very welcoming crew and they work hard. In our downtime we'd pass the guitar around and just enjoy chilling. No egos, just decent hard working cats. I definitely enjoyed getting to know them all.

You work particularly closely with Esther how was that experience?

Working with Esther was a breeze. We are both in a similar situation, juggling music and drama, so we found it pretty easy to share the experience. All musicians want to do is talk music, so we got on like a house on fire.

You're a musician off-screen. How is the music going and where can fans hear it?

The music is fantastic, the best it's ever been. I'm in a band called The Aristocrats and our album Cue Playback (featuring songs performed on Go Girls) is available at and iTunes.

You can also find the first album, "Whiskey And Requests," on iTunes too, as well as the Sleepy Kid album "Lullabies For Macy Rose". I also played drums on the album "The Rise And The Fall Of The Pterodactyl" which available for free download from Bandcamp.

How did you enjoy bringing your musical talents to the role of Joel?

I enjoyed the experience. As a film maker, there is nothing more satisfying than syncing the right piece of music to the right scene. In saying that, I feel like I'm just contributing a small part to a much bigger project and look forward to seeing (and hearing) the results.

What have you been up to since finishing the shoot on Go Girls 3?

I have been acting here and there, playing and recording a ton of music, and I've spent a fair amount of time directing. My latest project was a music video called Truth for The Early Birds. I've also started making commercials, short films and of course, my own music videos. I really enjoy being behind the camera as well as in front. It's all fun and games 'innit!

Were there any particular highlights/memorable moments from the shoot?

Besides having my band on set (hilarious!), my favourite experience was writing a song to a brief. I was asked to compose a piece of music for a specific scene in the final episode. Within five minutes I had my song written and in demo form. Writing a song in character was incredibly refreshing. No limitations or second guessing meant the writing process became fast-tracked. The song made its way through producers, writers, directors computers and iPods and found its way to set and then to the final cut. Watching the scene play out to my music in front of my own eyes was definitely, something new.  It was a pretty rad feeling.