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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Get to know Richard Osbourne

How did you get your role on SS?

I was working as a car salesman down in Wellington when I got a call from my agent asking me to send up an audition tape for SS. A week or so later my agent called again, explaining that they liked what they saw and asked me to send up another tape. Two weeks later, the call came that I had in fact got the role and had to head up to Auckland for my next big adventure.

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

I’ve always had a passion for performance ever since I can remember. As a child, I would scour the house searching for potential costumes and would then precede parade around in character trying to make my family laugh. Throughout high school I would always take part in any school productions, and when I arrived in New Zealand, I did a three-year course in acting at Toi Whakaari. Since then, I’ve been involved in plenty of theatre shows in different locations around NZ, but I definitely consider landing the role of Alex on Shortland Street as my first big break. It is an amazing opportunity and I am thrilled to be here amongst some amazing talents on such an iconic show.

Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character?

  1. We both prioritise family and care deeply about those closest to us.
  2. Both Alex and I like to lead healthy lifestyles and emphasise the importance of clean living. (Although, where Alex stops at two beers I’d probably stop at six.)
  3. Like Alex, I’m great with my hands. (So I’ve been told.)

Which other character would you like to be and why?

Maybe baby Pele. He’s such a natural presence on screen and his subtle nuances put him right up there amongst the greats.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of SS?

My flat is right by a basketball court. So almost on a daily basis my flatmates and I will head down to shoot some hoops. I also enjoy playing tennis; table tennis and on occasion I love a game of darts. My family are probably the most competitive bunch of individuals you could ever imagine and even losing a game of tiddlywinks results in an extended period of sulking. Also, losing to my flatmates in a game of FIFA is the equivalent of my eyes gouged out. Luckily that never tends to happen ;).

What do you do in your down time during the day?

Learn Lines. Chill with the flatties. Play some PS4. Gym it.

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

I have one older brother. Barry. Although there’s a 16-year age gap between us, we remain very close and always make sure to catch up whenever he travels up from Wellington on business.

Do you have any pets?

Love em’ (especially dogs) and would love to own one in the near future. Unfortunately, I don’t think my current landlord would be too happy if we brought any pets into our place.

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

I was born on the 21st of February, which makes me a Piscean. Do I believe in the significance of star signs? Cant say I’m convinced.

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

Hard to pinpoint one specific actor/actress, as there are so many incredible artists whose work I admire. Recently however, I’ve been intrigued by the craft of British actor Eddie Redmayne. His portrayal of Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’ was breathtaking and his ability to gradually transform both physically and vocally was a truly remarkable feat of acting.

What is your favourite food?

Fush ‘n’ Chups bro!

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

Favourite programme? It’s a flip of a coin between the UK Office and Breaking Bad. Favourite film? Forest Gump.

Are you from Auckland? Where did you grow up?

I’m originally from a small town called Ashton-under-Lyne in England. I moved to Wellington when I was 17 with my mum and dad and have lived there until getting my role on SS. Loving Auckland. Hating the traffic.

Which other actors do you like working with the most?

I haven’t had the opportunity to work with everyone yet. But all those I’ve worked with so far have been extremely wonderful and gracious. The majority of my scenes in the first month were with Nicole, Clem and Lucy, who have all been extremely welcoming and generous, what with me being the newbie and all.

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

Everyone I’ve met so far h been absolutely lovely and it’s a great environment to be in. Pua likes me maybe a little bit too much perhaps. I’ll have to keep my eye on him in the future. He keeps giving me signed copies of him posing shirtless. I have about 14 in my room so far and it’s starting to disturb me.

Can you remember your first day on SS? – What was it like?

My first few days on set were relatively breezy as I was only required for some background shots.