Talented actress Ria Vandervis has been living a double life since she began working on Shortland Street. Ria also runs a successful screen printing business with her husband and business partners which is based in Dunedin. The company, called Konstruct Clothing stills demands a great deal of her time and so she makes the long commute between Auckland and Southland to help out whenever she can.
But not only does Ria also work for Konstruct Clothing as well as working on Shortland Street, but she is also a fully certified marriage celebrant and during the summer months, you can witness Ria overseeing the vows of many a love-up couple!
But Ria is the first to acknowledge that acting is her biggest passion and the one she must prioritise over her other roles. Having started speech and drama at the tender age of four, Ria always enjoyed the thrill of performing for an audience. Her first taste of acting was when she played the role of Gretyl in her primary school production of The Sound of Music.
After a year of studying architecture at University, she decided to change her direction and went on to complete a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts at Unitec. After roles in the cult NZ movie The Devil Dared Me To and a lead role in Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive, Ria moved to Sydney and gained roles in Underbelly, Packed to the Rafters, Rescue Special Ops and Cops LAC.
In 2012 she returned to New Zealand and gained a role in the drama series Harry. There was only a small amount of downtime between filming that series and gaining her role in Shortland Street as the mysterious and troubled doctor, Harper Whitely.
Despite her constant acting work and other business activities, Ria still has time to focus on her hobbies which include running, pottering in the garden and hanging out with friends and family. She admits that she loves cooking, but hasn’t quite mastered the art of it just yet!