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Hero image for Miriama Smith: On making acting a career...

Miriama Smith: On making acting a career...

Interview – 2012

Actor Miriama Smith [Te Arawa] made her acting debut in cop show Shark in the Park. At 20 she graduated to Shortland Street, playing nurse Awhina Broughton. Since then, Smith has appeared in a raft of TV shows, including Mercy Peak, Serial Killers and Filthy Rich. She played lawyer Donna Hall in tele-feature Stolen, won an award for Siege, and competed on Dancing with the Stars.

In this ScreenTalk interviewe, Smith talks about:

  • Playing a "naughty friend" on an episode of Shark in the Park
  • How Shortland Street provided a fantastic opportunity to hone her acting
  • Feeling pressured to represent Māori with her character Awhina
  • Loving the larger-than-life production of Xena: Warrior Princess
  • Being "wowed" by actor Lucy Lawless on the show
  • Realising she could make a career out of acting, while working on Mercy Peak
  • Facing up to the pressures of Dancing with the Stars with cracked ribs
  • Undergoing a physical and mental transformation for her role in Stolen
  • Finding empathy for her character in Siege
This video was first uploaded on 19 June 2012, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside
My character, when she came on, it was the first time that a marae had been on Shortland Street . . . sometimes the storylines were very convenient to her being Māori, and I kind of felt that was a lot of pressure for a 21-year-old to suddenly walk under Lionel's house and find wood and it was tapu — and she could sense it and no one else could.
– Miriama Smith on feeling the pressure of representing Māori, with her character on Shortland Street