It is possible that Bree Peters is best known for her Shortland Street (Pania Stevens) and Home And Away (Gemma Parata) roles. She is currently on the screen playing a teacher in the local sitcom Mean Mums, where she has had a job as a child acting coach behind the scenes.
Obviously, you have an affinity for girls. You’re a big boy at heart?
Gosh, I have no idea. With girls, if they love you, they love you. If they haven’t, they haven’t. I love to hang out with children. It’s fun for me. It’s always a good reason to watch a movie about children. ‘Oh, you’re around, you know. We’ve got to watch this now, I suppose,’ (but) I’m really into it, too.
You play Mean Mums with a school teacher. Have some of your teachers in primary school had a major effect on you?
They’ve all been fantastic. When I was five, my mum was my teacher and she claims it was the hardest year of her life because every time she asked a question she had my finger right up her nose. I was right in front of her and I would get all sulky if she didn’t pick me. However, I have tremendous respect for the teachers. I will probably tell my mom then, because when she was 16, my mom went to teachers’ college, so she’s been a teacher for over 40-something years. The way my mom is, she likes children, she has a lot of fun, she’s very cheeky and she can have a joke with them.
Have you ever wanted to be a teacher at all?
Oh, no. Ever since I knew it was a job, I have wanted to be an actor. I didn’t want to be a teacher, ever. I guess I’m not going to be a very good teacher.
What do you think you would be doing for a living if you didn’t end up working as an actor?
I’d be a musician, perhaps. When I was a young child, I did more than that and I loved it, and then I gave it up. You go and step into people’s flats and you go, ‘Oh, me singing in people’s flats, it just sounds like I’m showing off.’ Sort of because I was ashamed, I stopped doing it.
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You were on Shortland Street then Home Then Away. How does Ferndale equate to Summer Bay?
It is pretty much the same, to be honest with you. The only difference is the shooting time is different and at the same time, you fire two different things. You can drive out to Palm Beach (Summer Bay) for an hour and a half and then have to go back to set, while in Hendo (Henderson), I think it’s nice to have Shortland Street all in one place. But no, I found it pretty much the same. Since it was familiar, it was a very easy job to step into. With the amount of line learning and all that kind of stuff, some individuals get a little overwhelmed.
Did your Home And Away stint lead to more possibilities?
At the moment, there’s a lot going on, which is very cool. But I think we are all kind of just waiting to see what our landscape at the moment looks like as performers and creators. A number of individuals are, of course, too. We just kind of see what that’s going to mean. I think I would have gone back to Australia just to visit and touch the base and do that kind of mid-year stuff. But the plans changed, so you’ve got to roll a bit with that.
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How will you be represented by your friends?
I’m really harsh on myself. I’m pretty self-effacing. I’m very affectionate and loving, particularly with children. I’m a little ridiculous, probably, and I am really competitive. They (friends of Bree’s) would say so. To the point that you are just hurting yourself, I’m competitive. And I’m just slow. It’s very, very gentle.
Loves Bree Peters:
- I adore my friends. I think they’re like a family I was able to pick for me.
- I love my mother. She’s my best friend and the smartest person I know, possibly.
- I like to surf. I think I would probably be a little lost without surfing. It’s like meditation in an involved way.
- I just enjoy cheese. The cheese on anything. Cheese makes things easier.
Hates Bree Peters:
- Yeah. Racism. Since it is the worst part of the human experience, I hate it. It just makes my heartbreak.
- Frittata, quiche or bacon-and-egg dessert. Something where the egg is placed.
- I dread having to go to the hospital. I’m an anxious person. I just feel like they’ll be like, ‘Wow, of course, you’re dead,’ the minute I get in there, and I’ll be like, ‘I knew it.’ But I don’t want to be the d * * * that feels they’re dying, on the flip side of that. But when I go in, I just feel so ashamed. I feel a little freaky, a little bit sweaty. I have to get a friend to hold my hand if I have to do something like an exam.