Top Shows

Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Get to know Karlos Drinkwater

Find out more about the man behind Caleb:


How did you get your role on SS?

An intense soldier role became available and intense is something I can do well.

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

I treat every role like a big break. But I guess the biggest production I have been fortunate enough to be part of was Spartacus: Blood and Sand. I played a gladiator named Kerza. I studied at New Zealand drama school last century 1997-99 and I have never stopped learning.

Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character.

We both like paint-ball and we both like sweet food.

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

Emergency room scenes, they’re always a challenge and so foreign at the same time.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of SS?

I love photography and videography; I have a canon 6D and a few other toys. I play guitar and aim to learn harmonica.

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

Learn lines so I can be ready to shoot, and whatever makes my wife happy.

What is your favorite destination in NZ and overseas?

Taranaki in New Zealand, because it’s home . And a beach in Rarotonga with a cocktail in my hand, and some fresh fish to eat.

Are you single or attached?

Married, coming up to our one year anniversary.

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

I have five brothers in total. One younger and four older…

What star sign are you?


Do you have any pets?

Tiki, he’s a poochon bichon poodle cross- white, fluffy and cute as hell. He can do tricks too….

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

Oh man…so many! Marlon Brando, of course.

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

Different challenges every day. Sometimes new people to meet. 

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

The physical confrontations between Caleb and TK. Tense stand-off. Good stuff

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

In a way I consider it more like research. I look for what I can do better but end up critiquing myself.

What is your favourite food?

Pork chops, and seafood.

What is your favorite television program and/or film of all time?

Movie: I regularly watch Braveheart at least once a year. TV: Vikings….I’m going to say Shortland Street?

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

Puniho on the Taranaki Coast and proud.

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

Leila Eketone, she brings out my inner child

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

I don’t know….they don’t talk to me (he jokes)

What’s the best experience you’ve had with a fan/fans?

I like helping youth. One young man drew a picture of me, he was very talented, he presented it to me and asked me to sign it . Which I did.

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

Tense , excited fun.