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When We Go To War

Sundays at 8.30pm | TV ONE

Charles Smith

When We Go To War on TV ONE and TVNZ OnDemand

Charles Smith (played by Ido Drent)

Charles Smith is a dashingly handsome young man who believes in the Empire and is proud of his place in it. He is a lawyer and has recently become engaged to the beautiful Violet (played by Sophia Huybens), the youngest daughter of the very rich Sir Henry and Lady Penrose. Charles respects his elders and tries to see the best in people. He has a strong sense of fair play, he believes in doing the right thing and leading by example.

He has been following the European situation closely and believes war is inevitable and desirable. Already a captain in the Auckland Territorials, he relishes the opportunity to go and do his bit for God and the Empire.

Here's what Ido has to say about Charles: 

"Charles is the 'golden boy' of the family. He's an intelligent and talented young man who has managed to make quite a name for himself without too much effort. He thinks it's a just War - he believes he's fighting for the truth and justice. He believes it's his duty and the honourable thing to do, to go to war.

I think Charles in many ways is a personification of the general attitude of New Zealand towards the Empire. It's a simplification, but it is kind of a journey that we went through - being pro the Empire, seeing the true colours of the Empire and what we meant to them and then actually recognizing that we're different to them.

I've always been interested in that period and I think this series is an amazing opportunity to tell that story. Although I was born in South Africa, I do identify as a New Zealander - I've been here since I was 7 and I definitely think that I'm a Kiwi. For me it was a privilege to be asked to play a part in this story which is so important for us as a nation."