The new Mrs Warner?:
Will it be wedding bells again for Chris Warner?
She is probably Ferndale’s most unpopular resident but Holly Shervey wouldn’t have it any other way.
“As an actress, you couldn’t ask for better,” she says of playing Shortland Street’s conniving Zoe Carlson.
“It’s my job to justify why she does everything she does. I kind of feel like she’s just a misrepresented and misunderstood millennial – of the worst type.”
Zoe, the younger half-sister of nurse Kate Hannah (Laurel Devenie), is a pathological liar who has repeatedly upset fans since she arrived on the show, not least because she lied about having cancer.
“I actually lost my mum to cancer so when I was reading the storyline I was like, ‘We have to find as much comedy in it as we can’,” Shervey says of the lie that has caused fans of the drama to call on the producers to get rid of Zoe.
“I’ll always try to find the comedy, especially when you’ve got a character who is creating so much drama, otherwise it all gets a bit serious. There are people who are like that but I think, at the end of the day, unless you are a psychopath, you always have a heart in there. You’ll think (the character is) doing it for the right reasons even if they’re not.”
However, the 29 year old has
“I actually lost my mum to cancer so when I was reading the storyline I was like, ‘We have to find as much comedy in it as we can’.” – Holly Shervey
no problem understanding why fans are horrified when Zoe tells her boss – and cancer survivor – Dr Chris Warner (Michael Galvin) that she has cancer to win his sympathy.
“I think, in Zoe’s defence, it came out in the moment and it was her way of keeping her job and, for her, her job is her lifeline.
“She’s fighting for the life she wants and that’s what I mean by the millennial thing.”
Zoe’s ideal life would have her becoming the sixth Mrs Warner and, now the pair are embroiled in a clandestine relationship, it looks like she might get her way.
Shervey acknowledges marrying the lifestyle you want – especially when you have set your cap at a 50-year-old soon-to-be grandfather – could be seen as old-fashioned by today’s women who have been raised to find their own way to success.
“However, she probably feels like she’s going out and getting what she wants and what she wants is the ideal man to look after her,” the actor says.
“It’s a lifestyle she craves. She grew up in a broken home and she’s trying to get as far away from that as she can, and a lifestyle with Chris offers everything she always wanted.” Shervey is keeping mum about whether Zoe succeeds in her plans but acknowledges, given this is Shortland Street, there will be ups and downs along the way. Unlike Zoe, Shervey has found her own success in life. In 2014, she co-created the hit comedy web series Auckward Love with her fiance – Almighty Johnsons star Emmett Skilton – as a way of breaking into the industry. “I am over the moon about where it’s gone. When we were just starting out our whole point was to grow our skills and it just blossomed into something even better,” she says of the comedy that has since screened at festivals around the world. Now coming up for its fourth season, Auckward Love follows Alice (Shervey) and her three unlikely best friends – Vicky (Lucy Hare), Grace (Jess Holly Bates), and Zoe (Jess Sayer) – as they look for love in the big city. While Auckward Love’s first season was based on Shervey’s own experiences, she says she and Zoe have little in common – apart from both coming from Queenstown and both having sisters. “There were definitely times in high school where I lied just because I wanted to be part of the crew. “I think I lied about having my first kiss because everyone else already had,” she says. “I think I’m a good liar but these days I lie about much smaller things. Like, ‘Are you good?’ ‘Yeah, I’m great’. “That for me would be a lie but Zoe just takes it much further.”
Left: Michael Galvin (Chris Warner). Below: Holly Shervey (Zoe Carlson).