Acting on Shortland Street will inevitably throw up its fair share of challenges and this week is no exception for actress Amanda Billing who plays Dr Sarah Potts. An entire episode is shot in flashback with the spotlight on Sarah as she tries to make the tough decision between the two men in her life.
Filmed in chronological order, the episode sees Sarah head out with Craig for a drink, before joining TK for dinner and then making her way to Toni’s for a debrief.
“On Shortland Street, from a shooting point of view you never get that experience of being able to shoot big chunks of your storyline in chronological order. It was fantastic. I really enjoyed it” says Billing. “We shot the Craig date on one day and then we shot the TK date on the next day and the Toni-Sarah debrief was shot on the third day.”
Focusing on one storyline was a hugely positive experience for Billing, not just for viewers but also for actors. “Being able to get quite deeply involved with one character and their journey within an episode adds depth to the soap opera medium” says Billing. “It was really nice to be able to enjoy her process and her experience in such an intense fashion, because we didn’t have to jump from one set to the next.”
Making a decision between Craig and TK has been an unresolved issue for some time, but Sarah’s evening with the two men may just serve as the catalyst needed to finally make the tough call. “Sarah gets a lot more than she bargained and she learns a lot more about these two very different men” admits Billing. “She discovers some honesty in her relationship with each man, and learns some new and challenging things about each of them and about herself. Because of these revelations and because of this experience she comes to a very difficult place where she feels she has to make a decision.”
No matter what decision Sarah finally comes to, the episode will definitely be popular with fans of the love-triangle storyline. “This time around the people who love Sarah, or love Craig or TK, they’ll be able to watch the whole episode and they won’t have to wait!”