Dirty Laundry's Tai Berdinner-Blades on Kat Rafferty: 'She's very controlling'
In the final days of filming Dirty Laundry, Tai Berdinner-Blades joked she was going to leave the country before the series went to air – and she did.
As her character, Kat, tries to keep the Rafferty family on track in the wake of the arrest of mum Donna (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) for money laundering, the former Go Girls actress is, in reality, sampling the delights of Los Angeles.
It was Tai's biggest role to date and her most demanding.
"There were times I was on set all day, and into the night, when I had to remind myself that this is really exciting, this is my career and this is what I want to be doing," Tai says, adding she dreamed about the show every night during filming. "I live and breathe it."
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The actress also finds herself taking on some of the characteristics of high-achieving lawyer Kat.
"It's really interesting the carry-on effect it has," she reveals. "I found in Go Girls my personal life starting to become affected by Benny's traits. She was happy go lucky, very klutzy, and I found I tripped over a lot, dropped things all the time.
"Kat is the polar opposite. She is very organised, she's very on to it, she's very controlling, very commanding and I definitely found that affecting my own life as well."
On screen, Kat is struggling to deal with taking on the responsibility for her mother's criminal business while juggling her attraction to Jackson (Robbie Magasiva), who is investigating her father's death, with her feelings for fiance and fellow lawyer Andrew (David Horner). On top of that, the young lawyer starts to doubt if anything she believes about her parents is true.
"It's a huge shock to Kat, especially when she finds out about Donna and her initial reaction is 'You've got the wrong woman. It can't be my mother. She's never even had a parking ticket'," Tai says, adding Kat becomes even more confused when she starts to suspect her father might still be alive.
Dirty Laundry, TVNZ 2, Wednesday.
- TV Guide