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Rena Owen joins Shortland Street

Rena Owen

Hine Scott (Rena Owen) on Shortland Street TV2

Scotty and Tracey in the Shortland Street cafeteria

Acclaimed New Zealand actress Rena Owen joins the cast of Shortland Street this week, assuming the exciting role of Hine Ryan.

Perhaps best known for her electrifying lead performance in the local cult-classic, Once Were Warriors, acting alongside Shortland Street's Temuera Morrison, Owen's other credits include Star Wars: Episode II and Episode III, Rain of the Children and Piece of My Heart.

Owen says she was excited to be offered the opportunity to work on Shortland Street .

"I didn't want to miss my chance to work on New Zealand's most iconic show," says Owen. "I'm a proud Kiwi, and proud to be a part of Shortland Street now."

Playing the part of Hine Ryan, James 'Scotty' Scott's (Kiel McNaughton) estranged mother, Owen was immediately drawn to the character.

"I instantly knew that Hine had depth and potential, she was real. She has an interesting back-story, and I felt like I could really relate to her," says Owen. "I knew that this character would stretch me and really make me work. Accepting this role just felt right. I read the character description and just knew I had to take it."

Working on Shortland Street , the fastest turn-around television show in the world, took a bit of getting used to for Owen.

"I've never worked so hard or fast in my life! The sheer pace of the show is amazing," says Owen. " Shortland Street has taught me to be a better actor in terms of working at such a fast pace. You shoot scenes all day, and then learn scenes that night, it really requires immense discipline."

Owen says that working with her on-screen son Kiel McNaughton and his on-screen fiancé Sarah Thomson (Tracey Morrison) has been an absolute pleasure.

"There's a really great dynamic between the three of us," says Owen. "Working with Sarah and Kiel has been an absolute joy. They are both extremely kind and generous and as a result, have made my job so much easier."

Catch Rena Owen on Shortland Street soon.

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You might also be interested in: Our Bite-size Highlights of the hottest Shorty Street stories coming up.