Chris Warner has the perfect cover in Justine Jones

Chris Warner is set to make the most important decisions of his career on Shortland Street this week.

Chris Warner (Michael Galvin) is in the middle of a life crisis after a patient died on the operating table and his anxiety coupled with an inability to cope with the rigours of surgery any longer have forced him to make an executive decision – whether or not to accept the DHB offer to be CEO.

“On the one hand he can face his phobia of surgery and try and overcome it and on the other hand he can quite legitimately give into his fears by taking on the CEO role,” says actor Michael Galvin. “It’s a perfect out for him.” Chris’ troubles have been further complicated by his reluctance to share his problems – even with wife Toni Warner (Laura Hill).

“He is not seeking help from anyone,” says Michael. “He doesn’t want to lose the status he has as this brilliant surgeon. If he sought help he would be in danger of losing his status and he doesn’t want to do that. He has too much pride.”

Providing Chris with the best possible cover is ambitious surgeon Justine Jones (Laurie Foell) who Chris has been delegating work to. Michael admits Chris and Justine’s relationship is mutually satisfying.

“The difficult surgery that he wants to avoid he can hoist onto Justine. He can do it under the guise of being a good head of department. So she is providing the perfect cover for him.”

Yet despite the fact that Chris has the perfect cover to leave surgery, Michael doesn’t believe quitting is in Chris’ best interests. “Surgery was his passion and the thing that used to be the defining thing in his life. If he doesn’t face up to his fears it will be hanging over him for the rest of his life, like any phobia does until you try to face up to it.”

Michael’s advice to his on-screen alter ego is simple and straight forward. “It’s the old cliché, a problem shared is a problem halved, and who better to share it with than your life partner. I would say tell your wife about, get help from whoever you need to and swear them to secrecy. The more he avoids the fear the more power he gives the fear.”

Shortland Street, weeknights on TV2 at 7.00pm.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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