Ten minutes with Toby Leach
Toby Leach is a Shortland Street regular, playing DHB rep Seth Packhurst.
How did you get your role on Shorty?
It was offered to me in August last year.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in the Waikato in Huntly hospital and moved north to Warkworth when I was six months old. I stayed there for most of my teenage years and loved it.
How long have you been acting and how did you get your first big break?
I have been acting professionally since 1996 when I graduated from NZ Drama school. My big break came the first year out of drama school when I landed a lead role on the TV show 'Duggan', a NZ detective show set in the Marlborough sounds and I played the young sidekick cop PC Peach.
Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character.
1.Like to wear suits
2.Favourite drink is Brandy and dry
3.Has a beard
What has been your best experience/scene on the show to date?
The best experience was my first day shooting, walking through the doors of South Pacific Pictures and seeing photo's of all the actors that have worked on the show and getting a real sense of history.
Favourite scene was getting flashed by Brooke Williams over and over again.
Which other character would you like to be and why?
Vinnie because he's the funny guy.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of the show?
I love theatre, watched loads of it and been lucky enough to make some with friends. I like to cook and get in the garden which probably makes me sound like an old man. Watching films in particular documentaries. Travel has always been a passion of mine,and want to do more.
What do you do in your down time during the day when you’re not shooting?
Playing tennis, catching up with friends. ride my scooter out to Piha, Facebook, try and write ideas down for my next show.
What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?
My favourite place in NZ would have to be my flat. Favourite place in the world would have to be New York, so far.
How many brothers and sisters do you have, are they older or younger?
One sister and she's 4 years older than me.
What is your date of birth and what star sign are you?
November 4 ( day before Guy Fawkes ) and I'm a Wood Tiger Scorpio ( full Chinese star sign
Do you have any pets?
No. But my flatmate has a ginger tom cat called Rita, we hang out a lot.
Who is the actor or actress that you look up to or admire the most?
Phillip Seymour Hoffman. He's what I would call a true transformative actor.
What is the thing you enjoy most about going to work everyday?
The wonderfully crazy, mad people.
What has been your favorite scene to film in your time at Shortland Street?
My favourite scene so far was the last scene that Peter Mochrie did as Callum Mckay before he left. We had done a few scenes together but not loads and he remained professional and warm right to the end. Or maybe he'll come back?!
Do you watch Shortland Street at home? If yes, is it strange seeing yourself on television or are you used to it?
Yeah I watch the show, its cool being involved in making it and then seeing the finished product. I don't really like watching my bits.
What is your favourite food?
What is your favourite television programme and/or film of all time?
That's too hard so here's my Top 5, right now and in any order :
Star Wars ( not the prequels ), Pulp Fiction, Toy Story trilogy, Love Liza and the documentary on cartoon artist Robert Crumb.
Which other actors/actresses do you like working with the most and why?
I'm lucky that my character gets to do scenes with most of the actors on the show and they're all brilliant.
Have you made any good friends amongst the cast and crew?
I was friends with some of the actors before coming onto the show which made the first few days much easier. It's fun getting to know the shooting and production crew who are the people who keep the show running. I think part of our job as actors is to try and not make it harder for them. Sometimes you make friends and that's a bonus. So far so good.
What’s the best experience you’ve had with a fan/fans?
I know this sounds corny but my family are my biggest fans. Love them.
What’s the strangest experience you’ve had with a fan/fans?
While walking along the street on a sunny day, a car full of teenagers went past shouting "hey shortland street! , Hey CEO!" , they then backed up to continue offering me 'support' and almost hit the car waiting at the intersection behind them! Eye's on the road people.
Can you remember your first day on Shortland Street – what was it like?
First day was very exciting, like the first day of school. The scenes were with Angela and Micheal and I was a bit nervous but they are such professionals that I relaxed pretty quickly and it actually went very smoothly. Not quite as nervous these days but still really good fun.
Celebrating 20 years of Shortland Street