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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Get to know: Chris Tempest

Chris Tempest plays Josh Gallagher in Shortland Street on TV2

Paige, Roimata and Josh in ED - Shortland Street on TV2

Doctor Josh Gallagher, played by English born Chris Tempest, had a dramatic arrival during Shortland Street's feature length episode.  Read on to find out more about the man behind Ferndale's newest resident.

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in the north of England in the city of Doncaster, when I was nine I moved to Jersey, Channel Islands (a small group of islands below England but close to France). I moved over to New Zealand at 16 and spent two years in Napier and the rest of my time in Auckland.

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

I chose performing arts as a subject in my last two years of study at high school, and once I finished that and came to NZ I knew I wanted to be a performer. Five years of tertiary study later, I was out into the wide world. I have been a resident ensemble member of 'The Outfit Theatre Company' for over five years. During that time the company creates around four-five shows a year and I was involved in most of these. Also during that time I worked on 'History Boys' which included past cast member, Harry. Managed to keep alive by snagging the odd advert here and there and one or two short films but I consider Shorty to be my biggest role so far.

Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character.

Josh often has moments when he takes unnecessary risks. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I love to do things that may be considered dangerous ... I fly by the seat of my pants, and sometimes I don't even wear pants.

Every costume I have could be a part of my own wardrobe with the exception of skinny jeans ... detest them. Love me some baggy pants. At heart Josh is a good guy with the right intentions and I like to think of myself like that also. Life is too short to be a dick.

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

Just being on the show is awesome but today took the cake. I got punched out by my childhood hero Michael Van Wijk who played 'Wolf' on the English version of 'Gladiators'.  When I met him it filled me with childhood glee and it took me right back to when he was swinging 30 feet in the air tearing some guy down in front of his wife and kids. GO WOLF!

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

Theatre takes up a lot of time if I'm doing a show, but it's time that I happily spend. Nothing beats being with a group of close friends playing with different characters and scenarios. It's like being a kid for your job. Love playing on my guitar and having a sing too.

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

I'm gonna say working out and keeping fit cause I feel that's what I should be doing, and soon I will but I'm kind of a geek. Love my computer games. Also spent a lot of my youth on a skateboard. Gonna jump back on it soon to keep fit.

What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?

I have family in the Hokianga and I love to go there when things in the city get too much. It's an amazing place and some of the most beautiful views I have seen in NZ.

My mum lives on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean called Cocos. I recently went there over Christmas and New Years with my partner and it couldn't have been better in any way. It's always hot. The beaches look like they are from a film, crystal clear waters, amazing marine life, diving and a social drinking culture (amongst many other activities).

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

I have one older sister who is married with two beautiful kids, both boys. One of my goals is to make time to see them all more. Sometimes it can be hard when you don't live close.

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

I was born in the magic time of the 80's, '86 to be exact, on August 14th which I guess makes me a Leo. One thing I heard a lot growing up was 'huh, typical Leo.'

Do you have any pets?

I have a black cat called Nuggy with a bionic arm. A few years ago she had an unfortunate accident with a TV and broke her arm. I tried to tell her that it wasn't a good idea to constantly scratch at the stand but one day she learned her lesson. And so did me with a whopping vet bill. I have resented her ever since. (Just joking Nuggy.)

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

Philip Seymour Hoffman is the man. He has a presence on screen that's hard to take your eyes off. Also Will Ferrel, Jim Carrey and Danny McBride are the masters of comedic improvisation on camera. And all have shown that they can more than handle themselves in a more serious role.

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

Everything! I get paid to do what I was trained to do and live my dream. I may not get work forever but while I am I savour every second.

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

Has to be the whole of the anniversary episode. Running in and out of a busted up helicopter, saving lives while smoke and fire are in action all around. Hmmmm. Yusss!

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

I am not a regular watcher of Shorty so has been awesome catching up with the storylines and finding out what scandals are afoot.

What is your favourite food?

Full Sunday English Sunday roast complete with mash, roast veges, carrot 'n' swede, half a dead animal, cauliflower cheese, gravy and last but certainly not least, Yorkshire puddings ... I'm getting a rumble in my stomach just thinking about it.

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

Damn! That's a tough one. I just completed Eastbound and Down. It was a sad farewell to a brilliant show. Breaking Bad has some of the best acting by a leading man in pretty much any TV show (Bryan Cranston). South Park, still to this day, is something I will put everything on hold to watch the latest episode.

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

I have been in Auckland for around seven years now so I guess I'd call it home.

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

It is the start of my journey at the Street so most of my interactions have been with only a select few of the cast. And I'm not one to pick favourites so I will say that everyone I have worked with so far has been fantastic, no word of a lie.

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

Before I started work here I knew a couple of crew members. Even lived with one. He likes to think he is the man at FIFA, but results and logic dictate another story. But now I'm here I can see myself getting to know everyone very well.

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

Ha! Yes. I had those first day nerves, made me a bit gassy. I crossed my legs a lot and tried not to leak one out. I think I did a pretty good job... at not farting. No idea about how I did acting wise.

Catch Chris weeknights at 7pm!