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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

The scoop: Richard Knowles

We sat down with Richard Knowles who plays Tracey's (Sarah Thomson) brother, Doug Morrison.

How did you get your role on Shortland Street?

I originally auditioned for the character of Isaac Worthington. I missed out on that, but was offered this role instead.

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

I graduated from Toi Whakaari (NZ drama school) in 2005 and have been working fairly solidly since (in theatre, film and television).

My first decent role was, funnily enough, playing a policeman in the film Out of the Blue.

Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character.

 I used to want to be a cop...and that's all I can think of. Doug's a pretty stressed out, manipulating and dishonest guy who's in way over his head.

I guess the closest I come to that is telling the odd fib to my sister.

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

Playing a character who doesn't play by the rules. He's complex, conflicted and in over his head, but cares deeply about his family and love interests.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of Shorty?

Pretty much a water baby (represented New Zealand in water polo), so you'll find me near the water every second day of the week. I love Piha!

Play social football and social water polo. Play guitar. Am yet to experience, but love the idea of skydiving. A bit of hiking is always a welcome escape. 

What do you do in your down time during the day when you're not shooting?
If I've got time I'll go for a swim, otherwiseI'll be reading or doing some writing. I'm also addicted to box-set DVDs!

Deadwood, The Wire, Entourage - anything decent I can watch back-to-back.

Can't wait for TV One's The Pacific to come out (the follow up to Band of Brothers).

What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?

Has to be up north - it's a pretty amazing part of New Zealand.

My favourite place overseas so far is Cuba. It's like being caught in 1960's America with super friendly people and great music.

Do you have any pets?

Nope, but I'll get a dog at some stage. I'm thinking a Border Collie or Boxer.

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

Robert Downey Jr, Benicio Del Toro and Daniel Day Lewis. 

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

Every day is different, creative and challenging. Plus I'm surrounded by some pretty genius talent to work with and learn from.

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

TV programme would be TV One's Band of Brothers . Film, either City of God, Life of Brian or Requiem for a Dream (hmm, maybe also Anchorman).

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

Most of my scenes have been with my onscreen sister Sarah (Tracey) or Faye (Tania), who have both been incredibly helpful, supportive, trusting and generous.

It's a great opportunity working with people who know the show so well and constantly produce great stuff.

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

Yeah, it's like one big family here!

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

The first hour was pretty foreign and strange - everyone knew exactly where they were headed and what needed to be done except me.

I knew a few people from other jobs which made things a bit easier. Also everyone's so welcoming and friendly that by the end of the day I felt like I'd been here for weeks.

I left feeling excited about coming back the next day, which I took as a good sign.


Watch every episode for FREE with TVNZ Ondemand! Catch Richard as Doug Morrison, Weeknights 7.00 TV2