Emma Fenton’s foray into television drama all started off with playing the part of a stripper in the high profile Filthy Rich series. The plot moved to working in a gym as a “fitness executive” and later to taking pole dance classes for well-to-do ladies.
Asked what she did to keep fit for the role, Emma says: “To be honest, back in the day before this role, I didn’t do anything. I was into sports as a teenager – swimming and tennis and I represented Auckland in hockey.”
When she left school and went into drama, all of the sport stopped.
“When I got the role, I knew I had to be almost naked on the screen at times and so I went to the gym and had a personal trainer set some goals. I had a programme for cardio, strength and core training.”
Emma started off working out at 151 Corporate Health in Auckland, but later switched to a Jett’s 24-hour gym, handy to where she is living. She sometimes ends up going at 10pm at night to fit around filming.
“My fitness kicked in when I got the role as I knew how hard we would be working. I couldn’t be tired. I had to be at my top level and feeling good and confident.”
Asked where she learnt pole dancing, 25-year-old Emma says: “Well I didn’t want to look like an idiot and so I went to Viva Dance Studios and joined a group class. I went up to the teacher after class and said ‘I need to get really good, really fast.’ She said ‘Are you wanting to become a stripper’ and I said ‘yes, but no’. I couldn’t tell her very much at the time, but I ended up having private lessons with her at the Calendar Girl strip bar in Auckland’s infamous K Road.”
The teacher was a stripper and Emma asked lots of questions.
“I could learn from her what the men were like, how you got treated and how you talked to someone. She is a really savvy business woman. She knew how to get money and she is really good at what she does. She was brilliant. We did a lot of lessons together and it was all hard work – strength, core training and flexibility. I came home with a lot of bruises.”
Emma knew she had to learn how to do pole dancing and make it look easy, even though it wasn’t – and look sexy at the same time. She found it hard, but as far as fitness goes, she recommends it.
“I actually highly recommend it. In a class of 20, with all of those girls, it is quite empowering as well. You tone up very quickly, as you are lifting your own weight – in a fun way.”
Emma stopped going to the gym at that time, as she no longer needed to.
“You really get a sweat up and it is good if you go with your friends. It is a fun way to keep fit and you can see your progress. For a long time I couldn’t even climb up the pole. It took me a long time to get the strength to do that. When you did, it was a great feeling,”
Asked if she would take pole dancing classes again, Emma says: “I think so. I have even considered getting a pole.” She has no plans on taking up pole dancing as a career though.
The sex scenes in the show, was something Emma found hilarious.
“It was just something you had to do, although I didn’t have too many.” With the screening of Filthy Rich coming to a close in April, Emma has already got her fingers crossed there will be a second series.
“I hope so. I have had a lot of positive feedback