SHORTY ’S GLAM TRIO
Warner warning! There’ s triple trouble in Fern dale
When actors first start on
Shortland Street, most confess to feeling nervous and starstruck meeting the soap’s longtime patriarch Michael Galvin, who plays hospital stalwart Dr Chris Warner.
But for Aussie imports Luke Patrick, Lukas Whiting and Lucy Lovegrove, it was far from the case – they didn’t even know Shorty existed until they were asked to audition for the roles of the Ferndale favourite’s triplets, let alone know about Michael’s legacy.
“My agent called me about the part and I said, ‘Does New Zealand really have its own TV shows?’” laughs Luke, 31, who plays Frank on the TVNZ 2 soap. “Just over two weeks later, I left Aussie and here I am now.”
Nodding, blonde beauty Lucy, 27, adds, “It was literally one of those ‘my life has changed overnight’ situations.”
Since relocating to Auckland last year, the talented trio have settled into their roles and made themselves at home – something that was helped by the fact they immediately bonded with their on-screen father Michael, 50.
“Most of the time, I call him Dad around set,” tells Luke. “He’s a top bloke and really acts like a father figure to us. He always helps us out and gives us guidance, but he can still be the biggest kid out of all of us.”
Lukas, 24, who plays feisty Finn, agrees, “Whenever we get in trouble for laughing during a scene, it’s because Michael started it!”
Apart from a four-year break, the soap veteran has been on Shorty since its very first episode 25 years ago – and the storyline that has led to the triplets’ arrival in Ferndale dates back almost that long too.
In 1993, Carrie “Robo-Nurse” Burton (Lisa Crittenden) gave birth to the children via artificial insemination. Later, it was revealed the sperm she used belonged to Chris.
Speaking of Shorty’s 25th birthday celebrations last week, Lukas says, “It’s a pretty special moment to be involved in, especially to be part of a storyline that’s been 20 years in the making. And it’s definitely cool for the longtime fans who remember the triplets being born on the show and can now see that all come to fruition.”
While Michael might have become their Kiwi dad, the trio say their families back home will always remain their biggest fans. Lukas laughs, “Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but my parents have found some sort of loophole so they can watch the show online and stay up to date with New Zealand because the episodes that air in Australia are a bit behind. They’re just that dedicated to watching the show!” He’s come across a fair few
Shorty fans on the streets of Auckland, but nothing compares to his proud mum. “She’ll text me every single night like, ‘Oh, my God, can you believe what happened?’ She’s always trying to get the secrets out of me about the plot, but I keep it under wraps.”
While Lukas is definitely missing Mum back home, he’s found a new family in Aotearoa. Throughout their interview with Woman’s
Day, he, Lucy and Luke are constantly goofing around and trying to rile each other up. “It’s become a real sibling relationship,” smiles Lucy. “We act like real-life triplets!”
Keeping it Kiwi
Although their characters don’t always see eye to eye on screen, behind the scenes, these three are a close bunch, with after-work pizza parties and weekend catch-ups often on the agenda.
And although the Aussies have a habit of claiming NZ stars as their own, these actors are delighted at the thought of becoming beloved Kiwi personalities.
Laughing, Lucy confesses, “Actually, I think I am losing my Australian accent a little bit!”
RightR (from left): Luke, Lucy and LukasL agree they act like real-life triplets! The Shorty triplets with dad Chris and half-brother Harry, played by Reid Walker (centre).