GCM's Aidan O’Malley’s dramatic return to Shortland Street

Shortland Street had the dramatic return of Dr Parker Dawson played by Aidan O’Malley,

GCM's Aidan O’Malley’s dramatic return to Shortland Street

Shortland Street had the dramatic return of Dr Parker Dawson played by Aidan O’Malley, who took doctors Marty Walker (Scott Smart) and his wife Esther Samuels (Ngahuia Piripi) and her children hostage in desperation for a pharmaceutical fix.

O’Malley’s character was part of the mid-winter cliff-hanger storyline last year when he was introduced among six new registrars.

With his time away from the show, O’Malley, 27, has had a more productive time than his character; he went straight from Ferndale into touring a theatre show around New Zealand, performing in the hard-hitting The Haka Party Incident; after that, he enjoyed some time out at the beach and the countryside with his girlfriend.

Since then, he has had poetry evenings with three acting mates – which O’Malley explains have erupted into a robot-themed play they are trying to get on stage. “In a stark, subliminal dreamscape of exploration Space Cowboy, Robo Cowboy, Dirty Cowboy, and Sad Cowboy search for meaning in everything and nothing,” O’Malley says of the project.

A country-loving boy who likes to work hard and play hard, O’Malley tries to balance a little farm work with acting.

He grew up in Rotorua, studying theatre at the University of Otago before graduating from the Auckland Actors’ Program in 2019.

“When I got my first commercial with Pizza Hut, that felt like my peak, everything from there is just a sweet bonus I reckon.”

He loves being part of Shorty again and calls it an unstoppable beast.

“To be part of that again feels great. It’s like actor training and performing at the same time.”

If Parker gets over his addiction to “Z” and – if his character is forgiven by Esther and Marty – O’Malley may be back in Ferndale for a longer stint than last time.

Beyond Shortland Street and the robot play, O’Malley has also written a solo show.

“I want to continue to get the opportunity to be tested with complex characters like Parker. I want to show different sides to my acting ability,” he says.

“I want to travel outside of New Zealand, perform and feel the world.”

Shortland Street | Weeknights | 7pm | TVNZ 2 & TVNZ+

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