Kura's little cutie: 'I love being a mum!'

The busy actress is up to any task, as long as there’s a cuddle at the end of her day!

By Rebekah Hebenton
Taskmaster NZ is known for its silly challenges and outlandish antics – but it's not all fun and games, says comedian Kura Forrester.
The actress, who's competing in the new season of the TVNZ series, says among the laughs, she has learnt something important about herself.
"I realised that I am enough," confides Kura. "As a comedian, you worry because you want to be funny. But just me being myself is good entertainment. I understood the best thing for me to do is trust my gut."
It's been a busy time for Kura, who has had to balance the filming of the show's third season with her hectic Shortland Street schedule.
It often means pulling six-day work weeks, but she's not complaining even a little bit.
As a professional actor, she knows work can dry up in the blink of an eye and she's relished the opportunity to appear on two shows she loves at the same time.
Being a main character on Shortland Street has been a lifelong dream for Kura, who joined the cast as the "annoying but lovable" receptionist Desdemona "Desi" Schmidt in 2019.
Now 37, Kura was just a youngster when Shortland Street first went to air in 1992, and she recalls having posters of Temuera Morrison and Martin Henderson on her walls growing up. She admits the show is one of the reasons she wanted to become an actor in the first place.
"It made me realise that acting was a viable job that I could do. When I first left drama school, I was really theatre-focused, but Shorty was always a secret goal."
Although she has only been on the iconic soap for three years, Kura has had her fair share of dramatic storylines, including a gambling addiction, a battle with alcoholism, where she almost ran over her partner Damo, played by Grant Lobban, and dealing with the loss of her estranged father.
But the most special time was appearing in the 30th anniversary episodes, where Desi and Damo had an over-the-top wedding to finally seal their relationship.
"I look back at that and think, 'Oh, my goodness! Ten-year-old me would have just been losing her mind if I could tell her I'd be doing that one day.' I'm honoured to be a part of it," she laughs.
"One of the best parts about working on Shorty is knowing all the people who have come before you. I was really good friends with Nancy Brunning, who passed away a couple of years ago, and I always think how it's such an incredible legacy to
be a part of."
Shortland Street fans are known for being a passionate bunch and The Educators star says she loves it when people stop her on the street to talk about the show.
Although people generally love Desi, she confesses, there is one notable exception.
"The only grief I ever get is if I treat Damo badly. People will message me on Instagram and say, 'You've got to stop treating him that way!'"
With Shorty husband Damo.
Working on Shortland Street is the first time as a creative she has had a stable income. It meant that last year she could buy her own house and once out of the rental market, she could also fulfil her dream of adopting a dog.
When the Weekly speaks to Kura over the phone in the middle of a busy day's shooting on the Shorty set, we can hear the new addition to her household cheerfully playing in the background.
The charming little Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Bichon Frise mix) easily steals hearts wherever they go, and Kura admits it takes a lot longer to get places now because everyone wants to stop and pat her.
"I joke that it's just like having a baby," Kura laughs. "She does require quite a lot of attention, but it's so nice having something that knows you're their mum. I walk into a room and she loses her mind. She's probably my number-one fan."
She might be feeling on top of the world as a home-owner and dog mum – not to mention her career being at an all-time high – but Kura says she has one small dream she still wants to achieve.
"I wouldn't mind doing a movie. A leading role in a comedy movie that earns me trillions of millions of dollars. I'm open to that!" she laughs. Watch Kura on Taskmaster NZ Wednesdays at 8.35pm on TVNZ 2.

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