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Hero image for Robyn Malcolm: On playing Cheryl West...

Robyn Malcolm: On playing Cheryl West...

Interview – 2009

The award-winning Robyn Malcolm has become one of New Zealand's most beloved actors.  Since joining the cast of Shortland Street in 1994, Malcolm has played a diverse range of characters. Her TV credits include TV movie Clare, soap satire Serial Killers, and her award-winning role as matriarch Cheryl West in classic series Outrageous Fortune

In this ScreenTalk, Malcolm talks about:

  • Getting the acting bug in school, despite the ballet girls
  • How she thought Shortland Street would be her only TV role
  • Discovering that the show's writers nicknamed her character "the slut in the cardy"  
  • The challenging experience of playing a cervical cancer survivor in TV movie Clare
  • Career highs and lows including playing an ex-porn star turned teacher, and kissing her friend Craig Parker
  • The emotional intensity of WWl  documentary Our Lost War: Passchendaele
  • Feeling proud that Outrageous Fortune has changed the way New Zealanders see themselves on television
  • How a prediction that her career would involve playing mothers and whores has come true
This video was first uploaded on 7 August 2009, 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
...I get the sense that the show actually really moves people, in the sense that they really care about the characters. They love the characters, and it matters to them what happens to the characters. I'm so proud of that, because it just means that we're doing our job . . . And it's a New Zealand show, you know; people are turning away from Australian and American shows to watch us.
– Robyn Malcolm on the popularity of Outrageous Fortune