Twenty questions with Steph Cusick
Steph Cusick plays Nicole's latest love interest Bonnie.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Christchurch and greater North Canterbury
How long have you been acting and how did you get your first big break?
Drama classes began in my childhood, and continued through to full-time study with Christchurch’s Hagley Theatre Company in 2010/2011. Playing Bonnie Deane on Shortland Street is undoubtedly my big break.
Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character.
We both like to go out of the way to make others feel wanted and appreciated; are deep thinkers; enjoy a good meal.
What has been your best experience/scene on the show to date?
The Halloween episode was definitely thrilling to shoot – everyone’s costuming and make-up was entertaining, including Bonnie’s. Working alongside the many experienced actors and directors has been an invaluable experience.
Which other character would you like to be and why?
Sarah Potts, as I’m drawn by her storylines.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of SS?
Performance wherever possible! Theatre, acoustic guitar, poetry, playtime with my nephews and niece; vegan-living; mental health; gender studies.
What do you do in your down time during the day when you’re not shooting?
Read/research; enjoy music; explore the superb organic stores that Auckland has to offer, such as Huckleberry Farms Harvest Wholefoods.
What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?
Favourites would include Queenstown and Akaroa. Singapore definitely holds fond memories, having visited there twice.
How many brothers and sisters do you have, are they older or younger?
I have both an older sister and brother.
What is your date of birth and what star sign are you?
Born in August, and very fittingly a Virgo.
Do you have any pets?
During childhood we had a family cat, and I would adore having some companion animals again at some stage.
Who is the actor or actress that you look up to or admire the most?
I can’t go past the performances of Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet. Three extraordinary and continually inspirational women.
What is the thing you enjoy most about going to work everyday?
Spending time creating and engaging in an art form with a group of equally-enthusiastic and like-minded people.
What has been your favorite scene to film in your time at Shortland Street?
Each has come with their own challenges, which I’ve appreciated, however I think some of the latter scenes, which are yet to air, because I felt more at home with Bonnie and had time to relax into her.
Do you watch Shortland Street at home? If yes, is it strange seeing yourself on television or are you used to it?
I watched with a great deal of nervousness the night Bonnie aired, however I am getting used to seeing my face on the screen now. It is an odd thing to get used to though.
What is your favourite food?
That’s a tough one to answer – I love food! I guess I would have to say that a bowl of porridge topped with banana, walnuts, and cranberries keeps me pretty happy.
What is your favourite television programme and/or film of all time?
The comedic styles of Miranda, Will & Grace, and Catherine Tate definitely take the cake for TV. French film Amelie will always be a favourite.
Which other actors/actresses do you like working with the most and why?
Sally, whom most of my scenes are with, is great to work alongside. Her proficiency and ease on set is inspiring to observe. Pua is great fun to be around and has helped me to feel relaxed on set as well.
Have you made any good friends amongst the cast and crew?
Yes, I like to think there will remain a connection
Can you remember your first day on Shortland Street – what was it like?
Fairly overwhelming. I find first-time experiences can be like that. Having said this, everyone on and off set was very welcoming, friendly and helpful, and that is always appreciated. Plus there’s always plenty to learn!