Top Shows

Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Get to know: Nicole Tubiola

Nicole Tubiola plays Rose - Shortland Street on TV2

Nicole Tubiola who plays Rose, Hunter's drug counsellor, is keeping it in the family as she joins Shortland Street this week. She's married to Shorty actor Kieran Hutchison who plays Jonathon McKenna and Nicole originally hails from the United States.

How did you get your role on Shortland Street? 

I auditioned for a different character first, then a couple months later I got a call asking if I wanted to play Rose.

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

I have been acting for as long as I can remember...but professionally about 13 years. I moved to LA when I was 18 and did lots of guest stars and a couple independent movies, but I would say that my first real break was playing Dani Davis on a series called "Wildfire" which was on for 4 years in America.

Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character.

I think Rose and I are pretty different - but I would say that we are both interested in other people's stories, we both like to give advice, and we both like to wear pretty clothes and heels. Ha.

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

I'm still pretty new to the set, so I will say when I went to pick up my first batch of scripts. I really had no idea who I would be playing other than that her name was Rose and she was a drug counselor. As soon as I got into my car, I read like six scripts cover to cover. I couldn't wait to get to it.

Which other character would you like to be and why?

Well, I'm very happy playing Rose but if I had to choose I guess I would like to be Rachel. Besides the fact that she has such a history on the show, I love how the character doesn't take anyone's crap yet still has heart.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the show?

I am a mother of a 4 year old - so he keeps me pretty busy! But, I like to keep up with American politics. I also enjoy cooking and am always on the lookout for a new recipe.

What do you do in your down time during the day when you're not shooting?
Read, write, Facebook.

What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?

There's no place like home at the moment - I think Auckland is absolutely stunning. I am looking forward to seeing much more of NZ, as I have only been around the North Island so far - but I am absolutely in love with the Coromandel at Hahei. My all time favourite city is probably New York City, I still kick myself for not moving there instead of LA when I was 18.

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

I have one brother who is 13 years older than me named Brent.

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

My birthday is August 7th, which makes me a Leo. It also explains my bowling handle Lioness. Which is ironic, really, considering my bowling skills.

Do you have any pets?

We have one maltese named Molly, but at the moment she is with my Mom and Dad in America because we felt she was too old to be quarantined. According to my son's letter to Santa he wants a I suppose that means I will have a goldfish soon.

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

Hands down, Meryl Streep.  She can change her molecules. Amazing.

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

Other than working everyday? The pace on Shorty is amazing - I hadn't had much experience with a 3 camera set up (except on a few comedy shows in the US) and I love how a scene is shot all at once, almost as though the scene was a play. Everything is real time so although sometimes it would be nice to have more time to shoot, it's wonderful that you get to be in the moment with the other actors at the same time and then move on to the next one.

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

I'm relatively new to the set so I don't have a favorite yet! Still figuring out how it all works - more than likely it will be the last one I shoot!

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

I do watch Shortland Street. I started watching it when we moved here about 8 months ago. I'm addicted now! However, I much prefer watching stuff that I am NOT in... I don't know if one ever gets used to seeing themselves on TV. Anytime I'm on, I watch to see what's working and what isn't about my performance as a tool, but it's best to do that alone. In a darkened room. With a glass of wine.

What is your favourite food?

PASTA! I love me some Italian food.

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

This is a toughie because I love so many shows and films. Here's a few - TV: Mad Men, The Wire, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Top Chef. FILM:  Sophie's Choice, The Way We Were, Priceless, Roman Holiday, Seven, The Godfather (of course), Out of Africa, Bridge on the River Kwai, Dirty Dancing...I could go on and on and on...

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

My husband, Kieren Hutchison (who plays Jonathon McKenna), is from Auckland and we moved here from LA for him to do a stint on Shorty. I grew up in a small town called Bullhead City, Arizona. It is exactly how it sounds. Super hot in the summer and a bit of a dust bowl, although the Colorado River runs right through the town, which gives it a bit of beauty.

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

There is not a single person on the show I wouldn't want to work with. I'm really happy to have had the opportunity to get to know the gang. The actors that I work with the most are Lee & Peter - who are easygoing and make our scenes as fun as they can possibly be given the dark subject matter!

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

We've shared a couple of dinners, lunches and laughs with Angela and her beautiful family, Mike and his adorable daughter and screamed at the television during the RWC with Beth and her husband.

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

To be honest, I am kinda in love with social media. Facebook & Twitter have really allowed me to connect with fans from all over the world. Lovely people who say lovely things and take time to make fan videos and put them on YouTube.  You get to have a dialogue with people that you would normally never be able to have. It's extremely gratifying.

What's the strangest experience you've had with a fan/fans?

Funnily, these also have probably come from FaceBook/Twitter. Anytime people profess love, I have no idea how to respond...Uh, thanks?

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

My first day on Shortland Street was on location in Mount Albert. It really was like the first day at school. I couldn't sleep the night before because I was so anxious. The day is a blur but Lee was lovely to work with and if he noticed that I was nervous, he didn't let on.... which I appreciated.

Greg, who is the sound guy, is someone that my husband and I have seen out and chatted with on a few occasions and he was so welcoming. He put me at ease. All and all it was as good as a first day can possibly go, but I will take a last day over a first any day of the week!

Catch Nicola as Rose in Shortland Street, weeknights at 7pm