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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Get to know Tyler Read

Troubled teen Evan Cooper

Meet Tyler Read, who plays Wendy Cooper's likeable son, Evan.

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

I have been acting since I was five - on screen and stage. My first break came when I got the lead role in a New Zealand film 'Bow Down Shadrach' when I was six. Unfortunately, the film did not go ahead, but I signed with an agency as a result and started working from there.

Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character.

We are both determined to be successful in whatever we do, neither of us liked school and both our families are crazy!

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

I really enjoyed the storyline with Evan running away from home and accidentally setting fire to the apartments. It was cool to see how the special effects were created, and how the stunts were choreographed then performed. Being a part of that was a great experience.

Which other character would you like to be and why?

As an actor I think it's important to be able to able to portray either gender, so I would say Gabrielle. She is a complex character who presents many challenges for an actor, and while I think Virginie Le Brun is doing a fantastic job, I wouldn't mind having a go myself, although something tells me we won't be allowed to swap&

What are your hobbies/interests outside of Shorty?

I play a few sports- football (soccer), touch rugby and boxing. I'm also interested in history, music and languages.

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

Sporting commitments take up a fair bit of time, and I set aside time every day for learning lines and reading new scripts. Relaxing is also important, so I like to chill out and listen to music or read. During the weekend I tend to hang out with mates.

What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?

I haven't travelled extensively overseas, so I'd say my favourite destination would be Nelson. I love going back to my home town, catching up with family and spending time at the beach and rivers, enjoying Nelson's fantastic weather. I really feel at home there.

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

I have an older sister Bianca (25) and a younger brother, Oscar (12).

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

17th January - I'm a Capricorn.

Do you have any pets?

I'm not allowed pets where I'm currently living, but I'd love a dog; preferable an Australian Kelpie.

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

James Dean- he's the man, what more can I say?

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

I love acting. To be able to say "I'm going to work" and then spend all day acting is fantastic. How many people get to do the things they love as a job? It's a real privilege.

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

There have been many. Scenes in which you get to eat are always great, but I'd have to say that the scene where Evan confronts Murray over his parenting and then exits, throwing money in his father's face, was great. All actors love the emotional stuff!

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

I used to find watching myself on TV to be quite awkward, so for that reason I didn't watch the show. Recently, however, I have gotten over this and found watching myself occasionally is a great way to reflect critically on my own performance, and see what I'm doing right, and where I can improve.

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

I was born in Nelson but I moved to Auckland when I was quite young. As a child I spent lots of my school holidays in Nelson so it feels like I grew up there, as these are my happiest childhood memories, even though I lived in Auckland and went to school here.

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

I like working with Jacquie, who plays my onscreen mum Wendy. She's very dedicated to her role which makes it easy to connect with her character and invest emotionally in any given scene.

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

I generally hang out with Pua (Vinnie) when we're not shooting, and during lunch breaks I often train with him and some of the guys from the crew, so we all get along well.

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

I was filming the car-wash scenes with Sally (Nicole) and Anna (Maia). I was really excited and had been looking forward to starting on the show, so it was a lot of fun and everyone made me feel very welcome.

Catch Tyler in action weeknights 7pm on TV2 - for more cast/crew and general features, click through to our Features page.

Meet Pearl McGlashan, who plays Tyler's on-screen sister Jasmine Cooper.