Rachel Forman has been back on our screens for just over
a month now, reprising her role as troubled med student Paige
We caught up with Rachel to find out what she's been up to while she was away and she gives us the lowdown on Paige's recovery and a possible romance with new doc Josh Gallagher ( played by Chris Tempest).
What was it like returning to Shortland Street and the character of Paige?
It was quite surreal. I had been away for 10 months, off doing quite different things so it was very exciting and a real challenge to connect back in with the show and the character.
Obviously a lot had gone on in Paige's life so I had an interesting time researching what she had been through in rehab and recovery.
Paige was a bit of a mess when she left the show last
year, what can we expect from her this time round?
Paige has really sorted herself out. She is an incredibly driven character and obviously very intelligent. She's in a much stronger place in herself now after losing nearly everything.
I really like how she is more down to earth and less competitive. She has definitely not solved all of her problems and still has a long way to go in terms of healing herself emotionally, whether she is aware of that or not. I guess you can expect to see her grapple with the fact that she isn't as strong as she used to be, she has to adjust to a slower way of life, which brings with it many challenges.
What have you been up to since you were last on the show?
One of the realities of being an actor in NZ is that there isn't a huge amount of work out there. You get very good at being a bit of a chameleon. I had a part time job working for the fashion designer Kate Sylvester and was also working in the Creative department of Waterfront Auckland organising public events in the Wynyard Quarter.
Right before I started back on the show I was doing a play called Top Girls for Silo Theatre. It was an incredible experience working with some fantastic actors including Shortland Street's Danielle Cormack (Alison Raynor). It was a very busy time doing the show at nights and filming Shorty in the days!
Who did you look forward to reuniting with when you returned to Shortland Street?
EVERYONE! Because we all work such long hours you all get to know each other very well. There's a very friendly vibe around the set which makes the work so fun. I was excited to work with Brooke Williams as we were at Drama School at the same time and I had never worked with her before.
Paige seems to be developing an interest in the new Dr, Josh Gallagher. Can you give us any clues of what to expect from this blossoming relationship?
Paige is still coming to terms with her new self and what she can and can't handle in terms of personal relationships. It's an interesting situation to play because she still has attractions to people even though she knows she shouldn't. It's was a fun psychological process to explore- her trying to justify it to herself.
I think Josh and Paige are quite similar but just cursed by their respective pasts. They both have baggage and aren't very good at acknowledging it!
Celebrating 20 years of drama on Shortland Street