Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - THE GRILL -

Michelle Langstone is un­der­go­ing a per­sonal re­nais­sance. The ac­tor, known for her roles in 800 Words and McLeod’s Daughters, has re­cently re­turned to Auck­land af­ter a three-year stint in Syd­ney. With Christ­mas on the hori­zon, she’s given her­self “a leave of ab­sence from re­spon­si­bil­ity”, plan­ning to spend the next few months ex­plor­ing long-held in­ter­ests: writ­ing and an­i­mals. In­stead of in­hab­it­ing char­ac­ters, she’s go­ing to give some other jobs a go. The morn­ing af­ter our in­ter­view, for ex­am­ple, she is pop­ping along to a lo­cal vet clinic. “I don’t know any­one there. It’ll just be me in track­suit pants, prob­a­bly clean­ing a lot of an­i­mal butts. Which I’m used to.”

Langstone is in Auck­land to be closer to fam­ily; her fa­ther has end-stage can­cer. It was this, the 39-year-old says, which changed the way she sees the world, and her own life.

“I have a sense that life is nowhere near as long as I per­ceived it to be. And if I want to ex­pe­ri­ence or ex­plore these other things I’m in­ter­ested in, there’s no time like the present.”

Act­ing will re­main part of the fab­ric of her uni­verse, as she puts it. “But this year has been a process of re­mem­ber­ing that out­side of this one role – which I’ve had for a very long time – there are other things I’m good at, and love.”

Child­hood mem­o­ries / Flat­ting mem­o­ries Kit­tens / Pup­pies

Beer / Wine Twit­ter / In­sta­gram

Heart on sleeve / Cards close to your chest Small talk / D&M

Gold / Sil­ver Din­ner / Dessert Pol­i­tics / Re­li­gion Cinema / Book­shop Cook / Clean Phone call / Email Ques­tions / An­swers Sleep in / Early start Ex­pe­ri­ences / Things Trop­i­cal / Alpine Hot / Cold

BYO / DIY Crowds / Soli­tude

The fi­nal series of 800 Words is screen­ing on TVNZ1, Wed­nes­days at 8.50pm.

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