Seven days of TV view­ing

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - DEBBIE SCHIPP

HER love of surf­ing means she spends much of her spare time chas­ing the per­fect wave, but Packed to The Rafters’ new face Zoe Cra­mond is now rev­el­ling in her big act­ing break on the hit TV show.

The 26-year-old Kiwi has many ask­ing ‘‘ who’s that girl?’’ as she plays out early episodes op­po­site Hugh Sheridan’s char­ac­ter Ben Rafter, who in last year’s se­ries suf­fered the shock death of his wife, Mel ( played by Zoe Ven­tura).

This sea­son, as Ben emerges from grief, Cra­mond’s char­ac­ter Emma has ap­peared on the scene. De­spite a su­per-awk­ward first meet­ing be­tween the two char­ac­ters, there’s a whiff of ro­mance in the air.

For Cra­mond, the slow-burn sto­ry­line has been the per­fect en­try to the Rafter clan.

‘‘ It’s early days for Emma, and she and Ben cer­tainly got off to a rocky start,’’ Cra­mond says.

On their first en­counter, she met Ben in a bar, tried to pick him up and he just dis­ap­peared.

The next day the two crossed paths again, dis­cov­er­ing Emma’s mum, Donna, was Ben’s new boss. ‘‘ We’re now see­ing them be­come re­ally cool friends,’’ Cra­mond says. ‘‘ The chem­istry is there, but they’re both cau­tious.’’

An­other slow burn has been Cra­mond’s wait for her char­ac­ter’s scenes to go to air.

‘‘ We’ve been wrapped for a while and on pro­duc­tion break ahead of the next se­ries, so it all seems like a long time ago,’’ Cra­mond says. ‘‘ I’ve met and be­come Emma, but au­di­ences are just dis­cov­er­ing her.’’

Cra­mond felt in­stantly at home with the Rafters cast, where she has joined a solid Kiwi con­tin­gent – orig­i­nal cast mem­bers Erik Thom­son and Re­becca Gib­ney and more re­cent ar­rivals Han­nah Mar­shall and Camille Keenan.

‘‘ They are such a sup­port­ive group of ac­tors, and so tal­ented. It’s been amaz­ing,’’ she says of the en­tire cast.

‘‘ I have a lot of my scenes with Hugh, and he’s won­der­ful. He’s such a giv­ing ac­tor.

‘‘ Han­nah [ who plays Retta] is from Auck­land and I used to live there so we’re pretty close.

‘‘ Hugh, me, Ge­orge [ Hou­var­das, who plays Carbo] and Han­nah have a few scenes to­gether, and it’s al­ways pretty funny hav­ing Ge­orge and Hugh in the same room.’’

Cra­mond au­di­tioned for her role along­side Sheridan, and it worked from the out­set.

A cou­ple of weeks later, Cra­mond re­ceived the call that she had scored the role.

‘‘ I got the call late last year and it was like, ‘ I’m mov­ing to Aus­tralia’,’’ she re­calls.

She has set­tled with her Kiwi boyfriend in the Syd­ney beach­side sub­urb of Clovelly, where she can eas­ily in­dulge her love of surf­ing.

‘‘ I’ve done it since I was 14. It clears my head,’’ Cra­mond says.

‘‘ Some peo­ple do yoga or what­ever. But if I’m stressed out or have had a full-on day, go­ing for a surf is the best feel­ing.

‘‘ Catch­ing that wave of the day . . . you can buzz off that for a few days.’’ Packed To The Rafters, South­ern Cross, Tues­day, 8.30pm

BIG BREAK: Rafters re­cruit Zoe Cra­mond.

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