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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Get to know: Amy Usherwood

Amy Usherwood plays Emma - Shortland Street on TV2

Amy Usherwood joins Shortland Street as Emma, Lana's fiesty friend determined to get revenge on Boyd.  She lets us in on some of her favourite things and achieving a childhood dream to be on Shorty... 

Where were you born and where did you grow up?



How long have you been acting and how did you get your first big break?

I have been performing since I was seven, when I started singing. But it was the acting side of things that I fell in love with. I would say being cast as Emma is my biggest break so far!


Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character.

We are both from the South Island. We both have a habit of acting on a whim before thinking it through. And, I have to admit, at times we are both stubborn.


What has been your best experience/scene on the show to date?

There has been so many, it’s hard to say. Emma takes a lot more risks than I would, and that’s fun to play!


Which other character would you like to be and why?

It’s a tie between Lana (because of her clothes) and Zac (because he gets to be naughty!)


What are your hobbies/interests outside of the show?

Getting out of the city and going to a beach, reading, walking, dancing, working out and then undoing all the hard work with good food and wine with friends.


What do you do in your down time during the day when you’re not shooting? 

Learn my lines! Or gossip with Kerry-Lee.


What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?

I love Central Otago. I’ve been going there all my life, and yet it still takes my breath away – it’s so beautiful! Overseas: anywhere new and exciting!!


How many brothers and sisters do you have, are they older or younger?

I have 5 lovely and talented half-siblings.


What is your date of birth and what star sign are you?

My birthday is the 6th of December and I am a Sagittarius.


Who is the actor or actress that you look up to or admire the most?

Ah, where do I start? Meryl, oh Meryl! Emma Thompson, Helen Mirren…


What is the thing you enjoy most about going to work everyday?

Spending my day doing what I love and working with awesome people.


What has been your favorite scene to film in your time at Shortland Street?

Probably hiding in someone’s closet. You’ll have to watch to find out whose!


Do you watch Shortland Street at home? If yes, is it strange seeing yourself on television or are you used to it?

I haven’t seen myself yet, and think I will avoid it as much as possible. I watched Shorty St when I was growing up – I was hooked! When I was 10 I wanted to live in the Sky Tower and be on Shorty!


What is your favourite food?

Ooh, I love most food! But Japanese food is a constant thing in my life (although my chopstick skills need a bit of honing).

What is your favourite television programme and/or film of all time?

The Labyrinth has a special place in my heart. And Sophie’s Choice (for Meryl Streep’s performance).


Are you from Auckland or did you move her to film Shortland Street? Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Dunedin. I have moved around a bit, but was already living in Auckland when I got the part.


Which other actors/actresses do you like working with the most and why?

Most of my scenes have been with Brooke (Lana) and Kerry-Lee (Kylie). It’s been lovely working with them and getting to know them. I’ve also enjoyed working with Pua, he’s hilarious!


Have you made any good friends amongst the cast and crew?

I’m still getting to know people, but everyone has been so lovely and gone out of their way to make me feel welcome


Can you remember your first day on Shortland Street – what was it like?

I was terrified! But everyone was so welcoming and it helped having Kerry-Lee start at the same time – we could be nervous together!


Celebrating 20 years of Shortland Street