Seven days of TV viewing
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.