Shortland Street's little stars
Shortland Street's Littlest Stars:
Some of Shortland Street's littlest actors seem to be stealing the show! We check out the youngest members of the team to find who the wee cuties are and just how they got in to acting.
Jay Jeffries - played by Liam Farmer
Three year-old Liam is a natural who was seemingly born to act. He joined the cast of Shortland Street when he was just 21 months old, playing the role of Maia Jeffries son Jay-Jay.
Liam's mum Veronica says that although she hadn't planned for Liam to get into acting, it quickly become apparent when he arrived on set, that he had a real knack for it.
"We did wonder what he would be like around strangers when he first arrived on the show, but from the minute he walked in the door all he wanted to do was say hello to everyone he met and he was so fascinated by what happened on set, that he had no fear of it at all," she says.
"He is an unusual kid in that he instinctively seems to know how people are feeling and how he should react to those feelings. He just seems to know what he is being asked of him in different emotional situations."
Veronica's sister-in-law suggested that she sign him on with an agency when he was only little and he had only been on the books a couple of months before he was asked to audition for the role of Jay-Jay.
"Liam loves his days at Shorty," says Veronica. "He thinks all the Jeffries clan are part of his family which is great, seeing as it has to look like he has a certain rapport with them. He calls Anna 'Mama' and he loves his 'Nana' (Yvonne)".
But does Liam's Mum find it hard watching other people pretend to be her son's mother and family?
"Not at all," she states firmly. "My husband and I think it is hugely important that children grow up learning to care and connect with different people from all walks of life.
Having to create all these special bonds with people he didn't know at such an early age means he is picking up that skill already and it will be incredibly beneficial for him as he grows older."
Amy and Jesse Scott - played by Apeal and Vavaki McNaughton
Brother and sister duo Apeal (Api) and Vavaki (Kiki) McNaughton had acting in the blood so it was really only a matter of time before they got in on the game.
Their father is Kiel McNaughton who plays Scotty on the show and their mother, Kerry is also a trained actor. Api (5 years old) and Kiki (3 years old) were initially asked to appear for a one-off storyline in 2008 in which they starred as Scotty's nephew and niece, Jesse and Amy Scott.
However, the return of their on-screen mother, Rebecca Scott (Marise Wipani) gave the producer a chance to bring the children back as well.
"They did a couple of scenes last year and it went really well, so it was an easy decision to get them back again for this storyline," says McNaughton. "It's nice to have them in the building and they really enjoy the experience of 'playing up' for the cameras."
But how do Kiel and Kerry feel about their children following in his footsteps and taking up acting as a fulltime profession?
"We definitely wouldn't mind if they wanted to be actors," he says. "We will encourage them in whatever they decide they want to do."
Harry Warner - played by Reid Walker
The latest addition to the young Shortland Street team is nine year old Reid Walker who is set to play Harry Warner.
Aside from a couple of school performances, Reid had no experience in front of a camera when he was chosen to play Harry.
But so far, he has settled in extremely well, especially given that most of the time he is working with Shortland Street's longest standing cast member, Michael Galvin (Chris Warner).
"Reid is a superstar in the making!" says Michael. "He is extremely naturally talented, easy going and great fun to act with."
Reid is thoroughly enjoying his time on the show so far.
"The thought of meeting all the Shortland Street actors was a bit overwhelming but once I got there and did the first rehearsal I felt really at home," says Reid of his time on the show so far.
"Everyone has made me really welcome and I love it!'