Most commonly recognised as Shortland Street’s “Vasa”, Teuila Blakely is an unstoppable force in New Zealand's entertainment scene. The vivacious performer is a master of many fields, with film and TV star, dancer, playwright, DJ, and MC on her resume!
The gorgeous Samoan star, who earned a Best Actress nomination at the Air New Zealand Screen Awards for her performance in Sione’s Wedding, recently appeared on Dancing with The Stars. Is there anything she can’t do?
While Teuila, 40, makes it look easy, it's been a tough road for the mother-of-one. Kicked out of home when she got pregnant at 17 with her son Jared, she has had to work hard for everything in her life.
“It was a different time back when I had Jared. It wasn't really acceptable to have a kid at that age and I had no idea what I was doing,” Teuila remembers. “As a single parent, you do twice the work with half the resources. I don't think there was ever a time I didn't feel overwhelmed.”
She's a strong advocate for the victims of domestic violence, as a survivor of an abusive relationship. In one attack she was battered so badly that her jaw remains out of alignment. She danced for Women's Refuge during her time on Dancing with the Stars, with the aim of raising money for the important charity and being a role model to women.
"Hopefully women stuck in tough domestic situations - whether they be physically violent or emotionally abusive, or both - will hear my story and know the future can still be bright".
After being single for a long and happy time, Teuila is also a proud proponent of women's sexual freedom. She is currently writing a book on the topic that she hopes with empower women and help them realise that it's okay to be single and enjoy their sexuality.
We sat down with the lovely star about her busy life and what she's learnt along the way.