As the star of TV2’s upcoming multi-night drama Filthy Rich, Kiwi actress Miriama Smith gets to sink her teeth into the character of Brady, the ambitious second wife battling to get her fair share of the spoils after her wealthy husband dies.
Miriama is joined by newcomers Emma Fenton, Taylor Hall and Alex Tarrant as the three illegitimate children of John Truebridge Snr, who discover they each have a claim to their father’s fortune. Josh McKenzie (Shortland Street, Power Rangers) also stars as John Jnr, Brady’s step-son.
Created by Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan (of Go Girls and Nothing Trivial fame), Filthy Rich is billed as one of New Zealand’s biggest, boldest new dramas and will air on TV2 next year.
We chatted to Miriama about her character, what attracted her to the role and what it’s been like working with the cast of Filthy Rich.
What drew you to the part of Brady?
Miriama: I was drawn to the part of Brady because she is strong, driven, quick witted and she definitely does not suffer fools. Although Brady hails from humble beginnings, she never plays the victim. In fact, she's a survivor who has come out on top. A solo parent to her daughter Kennedy, Brady refused to become another statistic in the social welfare system. She recognised early that hard work gets you a long way along in life.
There are so many subtle layers to her and it's the challenge of unravelling those that I enjoy. I love that her present day life is so contradictory to her upbringing in Gisborne - and how that determines the choices I make as an actor.
Are there any similarities between you and your character?
Miriama: The similarities between me and Brady are our humble beginnings. I was born in Rotorua and grew up in Porirua. I only moved to Auckland in 1998, when I got the role of Awhina Broughton on Shortland Street. Until then, I was very much a small town girl. We are both mothers, who strive to provide a good life for our families.
How has it been working with the rest of the cast?
Miriama: The rest of the cast on Filthy Rich have been incredible to work with. We have a delicious mix of young up-and-comings, right through to seasoned professionals. Everyone is incredibly hard working given our busy filming/rehearsal schedules and each character keeps you guessing and wanting more.