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Amanda Billing's new start and old favourites

The former Shortland Street star opens up about her latest challenge and what inspires her.

Amanda Billing, 39, lives in Auckland and is currently starring in TV2’s new sci-fi drama, The Cul de Sac.
Here she shares her inspirations:
The childhood memory I most treasure is… My mum playing little games with me in our pool to help me to feel safe in and under the water.
The last book I loved was… A Crooked Rib by Kiwi author Judy Corbalis. I record books for the Blind Foundation and I can’t wait to start reading this one out loud. It is loosely based on Sir Governor George Grey’s relationship with his wife Eliza and it dramatises their relationship, telling a piece of New Zealand history through the eyes of a female family member. It is interesting, informative and has really strong female characters and I am really looking forward to becoming all of those people. This is historical fiction but Judy has done extensive research into original documents, letters and newspaper articles.
The item I wear to feel fabulous is… I have the most amazing dress from TK Store called the Berlin Dress, in Ivory satin. I don’t know when I am going to get to wear it but I feel like a million bucks in it.
My advice to my younger self would be… In a way I wouldn’t give her any advice, because I wouldn’t change anything about my life but I guess if I could go back I would ask the question much earlier – ‘Does what they think really matter?’
The quality I most value in my friends is… Compassion.
An ideal evening spent with my best friend is spent… On my couch watching Netflix, eating fish and chips.
The person I most admire is… My great great great grandmother Isobel Cuthbert. She was a convict sent to Australia as a teenager under horrific circumstances but she ended up having a really good life. I admire her courage, her resilience and how she turned a potentially devastating situation around. I am really grateful for her being able to hang in there and make the best of things.
My most treasured possession is… To be honest, if the entire contents of my house were vaporised I don’t think I would really miss anything but there are heirlooms that belonged to my grandmothers that I would save if the place was burning down. There is a ring I had made in memory of my Dad’s mum when she died and a blanket that she and her sister made that is on my bed – precious things that I can pass on.
The smell that enlivens me is… Perfume. My current fave is called Daphne and you can get it from one of my favourite stores in Auckland, Wunderkammer. I tend to gravitate towards perfumes with amber, bergamot, frankincense and lavender.
The meal I love… Is anything on the BBQ - smoky, charred, yum!
In The Cul de Sac I am playing… someone very different from Sarah Potts. It was an exciting challenge and I hope families all over the country enjoy sitting down and watching it together.
The Cul de Sac starts on TV2 on Sunday, April 3 at 6pm.

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