Tears for Shorty Street star:

Emo­tional farewell for soap favourite.

The TV Guide - - CONTENTS -

No one is more dis­ap­pointed than Pua Ma­ga­siva about Short­land Street nice-guy Vin­nie’s grow­ing flir­ta­tion with new­comer Teuila (Tameka Sow­man).

“It shook things up for me. It just didn’t feel nor­mal,” says Ma­ga­siva, adding he re­ally did feel like he was cheat­ing on his screen wife Ni­cole (Sally Martin). “That sort of thing didn’t feel nor­mal to me. I felt dis­gusted.”

When their char­ac­ters wed two years ago, both ac­tors ex­pressed a wish for the mar­riage to be happy and long-lived, but it ap­pears the show’s writ­ers didn’t get the memo.

The re­la­tion­ship has been plagued with ob­sta­cles, not least Ni­cole’s af­fair with fel­low nurse Ruby (JJ Fong).

Vin­nie’s ego took a fur­ther bat­ter­ing when his at­tempt to be­come a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man ended with him hav­ing to sell his stake in the IV and Ni­cole, strug­gling to deal with their son Pele’s di­a­betes di­ag­no­sis, failed to re­alise his dev­as­ta­tion.

The fi­nal straw comes when Vin­nie’s son Michael (Duane Evans Jr) de­cides to move to Sin­ga­pore to live with his mum, Jemima (Liesha Ward-Knox), where he can en­joy the type of life­style his fa­ther wants for him but is un­able to pro­vide.

“I think when Michael left, it left a big hole and then he started to self blame. He

went through a pe­riod of think­ing, ‘You’re use­less. Why couldn’t you have found a way? Why did you just take the easy route and let him go with his mother?’ ” Ma­ga­siva says, adding the farewell scenes were ev­ery bit as hard as they looked on screen. “That day was one of the hard­est days I’ve ever worked on Short­land Street. “A lot of the time I was cry­ing be­fore the takes. Duane (who is join­ing the cast of the movie Avatar 2) was a cru­cial part of my life as Pua. Be­cause he came in at such a young age we built a re­la­tion­ship like fa­ther and son, but also like best friends, and it was sad to see him go.” It was an even big­ger blow for Vin­nie. “As much as he wanted to stay strong, there comes a point where noth­ing seems to be go­ing right, so he starts to ques­tion ev­ery­thing,” Ma­ga­siva says, adding that Vin­nie’s trou­bles are re­al­is­tic for many.

“I was like, ‘Far out, man, this is the stuff that re­ally hap­pens’. Peo­ple do risk a lot of money, put their houses on the line to cre­ate a busi­ness, cre­ate a fu­ture for their fam­i­lies and, when it all goes wrong, what do you have left?

“His dreams have been shat­tered. Then this girl comes along and she’s say­ing the right things. She’s say­ing ,‘ You can still do this stuff’ and he’s go­ing, ‘Why can’t Ni­cole think like that? Why isn’t she say­ing that? Why isn’t she stick­ing with me?’ I guess he gets lured into a dark place.”

Teuila en­ters Vin­nie’s life when she turns up in the ER need­ing an ap­pen­dec­tomy. How­ever, it turns out it is not their first en­counter.

She re­veals Vin­nie saved her life in Samoa, when she nearly drowned as a child, and although Vin­nie doesn’t re­call be­ing quite so heroic, a bond is formed. Teuila flirts with him and of­fers him a job run­ning her ho­tel in Samoa.

Their ro­mance heats up and, af­ter Vin­nie kisses Teuila at a Hal­loween party, the pair flirt un­til they are sprung by Damo (Grant Lob­ban). Mat­ters come to a head this week.

“I’m not say­ing this is the end of Vin­nie and Ni­cole but we are the one cou­ple that ev­ery­one does not want to break up,” Ma­ga­siva says, adding no re­la­tion­ship is per­fect.

“So­cial me­dia cre­ates this fake mes­sage of what life ought to be like, or could be like, but no mat­ter what hap­pens you have to fight, you have to fight to the bit­ter end un­til there is noth­ing left worth fight­ing for.”

Tameka Sow­man as Teuila

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