Warner warn­ing! There’ s triple trou­ble in Fern dale

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - What a Week! -

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).

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