Tonight marked the end of an era as Rachel McKenna drove away from Ferndale forever to get her life back on track and to “get better”.
Angela Bloomfield, who plays the feisty Shortland Street CEO, started as an actor on the series at 19 – a fact she jokes is “horrific” – before training to be a director for the show 15 years ago – “that’s horrific as well!” she jests.
When we sat down with Angela, 43, earlier this year, the Auckland mum-of-two had many memories of Ferndale to share – including some that she plans to keep close to her chest.
“Oh my god, if it was legal to write a book and not offend anyone… the stories I could tell!” laughs Angela.
Watch Angela's last scene on Shortland Street below. Story continues.
“Even now, when I catch up with friends, I’ll hear another story and go, ‘Really?! Did that happen?’ or ‘No, that’s not true!’ There are so many stories from so many years. Actor stories from behind the scenes… there is quite a story to tell there. That would be the thing to do.”
Over the course of her impressive reign, her character has endured more than one should ever have to. From being a kidnapped bride to bring involved in a hit and run and battling addiction, poor Rachel has weathered her fair share of ups and downs.
But despite the on-screen rollercoaster she has suffered, the petite Kiwi screen star says not a lot has changed behind the scenes.
She tells, “It’s not changed an awful lot. The faces have changed but the schedule looks exactly the same as 24 years ago. I’ve evolved, I haven’t changed, but I guess my attitude towards it has grown and my knowledge of what it is to be an actor has grown so I feels different.”
Shorty producer Maxine Fleming says about her departure, "Angela and her alter ego Rachel will be missed, personally, by the whole cast and crew as well as the audience. We thank Angela immensely for her outstanding work and wish her all the very best for her next adventures."
Angela's co-star and long-time on-screen love Michael Galvin had this to say about her departure:
"I feel extremely lucky to have been able to work alongside Angela so closely for so long. She is in exceptional actor: intelligent, brave, funny and always committed to excellence. She is also a great friend. I'll miss her a lot."
For Angela, who has made many friends on set and from around the country, she knows how privileged she is to have portrayed the role loved by the nation.
Angela reflects, “It’s a weird and wacky job. It’s weird that we go on set and pretend to be other people and then we come off set. People don’t get the opportunity to do that.”
See some of Angela's most memorable moments over the years in the gallery below
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