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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Get to know Jarod Rawiri

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born and bred here in Auckland. I'm a national women's hospital baby. I've moved around a bit, lived in Westmere in the 80's before moving out east to Mt Wellington, Penrose, Panmure and then finally moved to Gleb Innes for my influential teen years.

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

I graduated from Toi Whakaari in 2002 and have been acting since then. My first gig was an aerial physical theatre show called Maui One man against the Gods. I think my first film was Fracture. I was a punk street kid who steals another character's bag. And my first advert was for Marmite. Its the first time I heard the put down saying Ya manus

Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character. 

We are both fathers. We love and do everything we can for our kids and we share an uncanny resemblance to each other. At the moment Mo and I are juggling the family with work too which can be challenging. Ive never worked in a hospital before though. 

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

Without giving away too much (hopefully), we had some special sporting guests come in to do a scene with us which was cool. I enjoy working with all the guys who have been on the show for years, like Michael and Angela. You step out of yourself for a moment and wonder as Chris Warner and Rachel Mckenna are talking to you in a scene. Its a bit buzzy. Pua likes to prank all the time too. Hes hilarious.

Which other character would you like to be and why?

I thought it would be cool to be a doctor on the show. But when I see and hear the medical terms they have to say I feel glad Im not. Or maybe a patient that has a rare disease. I cant see myself as any other character on the show though. I wouldnt mind giving vision switcher a go. Shortland Street edits its scenes live. Its a pretty big responsibility actually &so&. 

What are your hobbies/interests outside of SS? 

Man!! Im pretty boring these days. I like to train because I dont play as much sport as I used to. I do a lot of other work outside of Shortland Street. I have a hip hop clown crew that Im part of and we make theatre shows. Before SS I was a freelance actor doing everything I could because I enjoy all the avenues of beign a performing artist. So I still do stage plays, and create new shows and a bit of directing as well. But mostly it's trying to create a happy home for my kids and shaping them into good, creative, understanding people.  

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

Life as a parent doesnt offer too much down time. My lady works full time as well as at the Auckland Art Festival, so we juggle family duties. I want to write a play though&one day eventually. Im planning to learn Te Reo too as my kids are learning at their Kura. 

What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?

I have a soft spot for Wellington. Its my second home. Otherwise, Im still a proud Auckland boy through and through. I enjoy Melbourne and Chicago. Very cool cities. 

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

I have a younger brother and 2 younger sisters.

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

I share a birthday with Kylie Minogue but shes a wee bit older than me. When I turned 30, I decided to call that decade of years the NBA years. Im currently celebrating my Kevin Durant year. Ill leave you to try figure out what I mean..

Do you have any pets?

Children fill that void. 

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

I grew up with Harrison Ford movies so I always thought he was ultra-cool. Then I went to drama school and it was all common names like De Niro, Denzel, Brando. But honestly, the actors I really look up to are closer to home. Cliff Curtis and Rachel House have immense talent and skill. Although, Meryl Streep is one of a kind. 

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

Just doing what I am meant to be doing and having the chance to do it. I am very passionate about acting and I take it very seriously. Its pretty cool that I can do it here at home too. 

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

The very first scene I shot was Mo talking to his daughter Pixie through a door where he tells her she has cancer, while Rachel and Chris watch on. It was nerve wracking but I felt I had arrived in to the Shortland Street whanau after that.

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

I have looked at it over the years but havent watched it religiously. I have had other actor friends come on to the show and have watched it for them, like when Pua first returned. My sisters watch it and they are excited that Im on it. I dont worry about what I look like anymore and I try not to judge myself either, especially with other people watching. They should be able to watch and judge for themselves.

What is your favourite food?

Meat pies - the end.

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

Transformers cartoon series was my favorite. Star Wars, the original trilogy, The Three Amigos Ive watched it over and over again and it never gets old. 

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

Yeah I have lots of friends on the show already. Its a pretty small community so we have crossed paths a bit. Ria Vandervis and I did Harry, a tele series together. I did a reading of Michael Galvins play for ATC, Angela Bloomfield and I did a Basement Theatre Christmas show together. Karlos Drinkwater, Bree Petters and I have done a few plays together before. And just recently, I got to do Hope and Wire with Joel Tobeck.

Pua and I are very good friends we are actually like brothers. Actually I played a brother to his actual brother Robbie Magasiva, so I feel like Im the Mori Magasiva brother. 

Whats the best experience youve had with a fan/fans?

I did a play once and a grandmother asked me to sign the programme. She then said to me My grandson and I loved you in BOY. I signed the programme 'Arohanui Taika'. I hope I made her and Taikas day.