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Shortland Street returns this week with the clinic staff struggling to deal with the deaths of two of their number. While Nurse Kate Hannah (Laurel Devenie) tries to cope with the death of her paramedic husband Mo (Jarod Rawiri) from his injuries in a sma
Kerry-Lee Dewing talks about life as Shortland Street’s angel of death.
As Shortland Street actress Kerry-Lee Dewing straddled co-star Ryan O’Kane in a scene where her character suffocates him, her mind went blank.
“I lost any sense of reality in the moment,” she says of the transition of her character Nurse Kylie Brown from ministering angel to avenging angel. “You begin and they call cut and you are like, ‘Ooh, what did happen?’ ”
At the end of last season, Kylie wed O’Kane’s character, Dr Dylan Reinhart, but murdered him a few days later when he was unmasked as a serial murderer whose victims included her sister, Julia (Jessica Joy Wood) and also the unborn child she was carrying for Kylie.
“I think at some point she’ll have to pay her dues.”
– Kerry-Lee Dewing
In another twist, it seems possible the new ‘Killer Kylie’ might also be responsible for the murder of Ferndale rapist Ian Reid (Phil Vaughan), who was killed in his hospital bed.
Dewing says in a bid to make the storyline as realistic as possible, she isolated herself from the rest of the Shorty Street cast.
“I care about my work and I want to do it justice. I couldn’t be laughing and joking around and then, when they call ‘Action’, pull something like that off.
“I carried that anxiety with me for the period of shooting and for a couple of weeks before that. I was completely consumed by it. I can’t just pack it away for a Saturday and Sunday and then just come back and pick it all up again. I just went, ‘This is my job and I’m just going to go nuts for a little while’.”
A strong fan favourite after six years as Ferndale’s most popular nurse, Dewing says kind-and-caring Kylie’s transition to ‘Killer Kylie’ makes her feel like she is playing a different character and she believes there will be no going back for either her or Kylie.
“It was a great story to get me to there. Having the character of Dylan coming in for the period of time he did was a nice journey towards that big shift. I was really honoured.”
Dylan – who quickly became the most reviled character on the drama – had murdered three women before he fell for Kylie. While viewers knew his history, she did not.
However, even though fans wanted the character gone, Dewing is unsure how they will react to the circumstances surrounding his exit.
“Initially I think they’ll be stoked that she did away with him, finally, but I don’t know, I really don’t,” she says.
“I’m very interested to see what’s going to happen because there’s a significant change and I think it’s going to take them a while to come to terms with this.
“I think they will empathise with her in what she’s been through to a certain extent. A lot of it can be put down to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). She’s been through the absolute wringer so some of it can be excused, but I think they’re going to struggle with some of the other things as well – much as I did.
“It is a big change. It is isolating. You kind of feel like you are on a wee island by yourself and that you know things and you’ve seen things different to all of your colleagues in Ferndale.”
Dewing believes the new Kylie justifies her actions as protecting the deserving and innocent – but admits her good deeds are the type than can put you in a prison cell.
“I think at some point she’ll have to pay her dues,” she says, musing that she might be able to blame her actions on temporary insanity.
“She’d loved this person, isolated herself from all of these other people, didn’t listen to any friends and family, tricked herself into believing this was the right person and he would never have done these things, and then she’s just been completely blindsided by it.
“But she needs to wake up, have that moment of realisation that it doesn’t matter how justified it is to you, you are effectively a murderer.”
Dylan (Ryan O’Kane) and Kylie (Kerry-Lee Dewing) on their wedding day.