What was the first thing Angela Bloomfield did, after saying goodbye to Shortland Street's Rachel McKenna? Dye her hair, of course.
After appearing on our TV screens for most of the past 25 years, Angela was itching to do the little things, like lose her character’s trademark hair and finally paint her nails. Freedoms that were never possible when so many aspects of her appearance had to be Rachel’s, not her own.
It was not an easy decision for the actress to finally leave the world of Ferndale behind her.
She’s grown up as part of New Zealand’s longest-running drama and has at last chosen to leave it, taking a big leap into the unknown. And one of the hardest parts, she tells NEXT, was having to keep it a secret.
“It’s been nerve-wracking because I’m not very good at keeping secrets – it’s not in my nature. I’ve literally had to lie every day.”
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Bloomfield was 19 when she started on Shortland Street. In November she turns 44. Although it isn’t easy to give up a regular job, particularly in a profession as precarious as acting, she felt as if there was no other option.
“Can I see myself staying there until I’m grey and old? No. So I needed to leave because grey and old is not that far away. Also, having been there for so long, there was a degree of not being challenged as much as I wanted to be.”
It was far from a snap decision.
“This has been two years in the making,” she confides. “I needed to plan for it because I don’t know where the next job is coming from and that could be a scary thing.”
Find out more about Angela’s bold decision, and what she’s most looking forward to in a post-Ferndale world, in her exclusive NEXT interview in our November cover story. Out on stands October 17.
For the full story, see the November issue of NEXT magazine