Why Kimberly Crossman returned home
Although now based in Los Angeles, Kiwi actress Kimberley Crossman tells James Croot why she just couldn't resist coming home to be a part of the ''dream team starting five'', granting wishes to ordinary New Zealanders in the new TV3 series Cadbury Dream Factory.
How would you describe your role in the ''dream team"?
I think each of us has a role in the show and mine is to be nurturing and caring and to take care of the emotional storyline in some of our bigger stories, to be compassionate and loving. It has been great. That is the role of each of us I believe, just to be good, kind people, have great comedic timing, and to be willing to really do anything and happy to do so.
How did you hear about Dream Factory and what attracted you to the show?
I was approached while I was in Los Angeles. Once I heard about the format, I wanted to be part of it. I love the opportunity to give back, and to be part of a team who would be changing people's lives and bringing their dreams to life. It was a no brainer.
Did you get to have any say in choosing the ''dreams''? Was there one that stood out for you? We definitely discussed a lot of the ideas as a team. I think for me the dreams where we were able to reunite families stood out to me. That is such a gift, and was beautiful to see and be a part of. I also loved the dreams that people wished for others, not themselves, that gives you a lot of faith in humanity.
What would your dream be? And how has that changed from say a decade ago?
My dream for myself is more of a goal and it hasn't changed too much in the past decade, to be the lead actress in a successful American multi-camera sitcom. But if I had to have a dream to submit to this show, it would be to have a family holiday. I love my family and love nothing more than spending quality time together.
What has been the toughest part/hardest challenge for you in putting the show together?
I think the hardest part has been keeping what we are doing a secret. Especially when we arrive in a town with a crew and cameras and we are trying to be undercover. To be honest, I don't look back and feel like any challenge outweighed the immense gratitude I felt from being a part of a show like this, the enjoyment from pranking people and surprising them on the street and the things I learnt from working on a new format and co-presenting with four others.
Have you been recognised in all the places you've been to as part of the Dream Factory and do people still have trouble distinguishing you from your Shortland St character?
We definitely got recognised. A lot of the time we are in costumes or I arrive in the storyline where it doesn't matter so much if I am recognised at all. I left Shortland Street a few years ago now, often I am recognised as Sophie McKay as that is what really launched me in New Zealand and I was on the show for almost six years. But these days I tend to be recognised more as Kimberley Crossman than Sophie McKay and I am blessed to have a full body of work behind me already and not known for just one of my roles. I am very proud to have been on Shortland Street for a long time and I loved being a part of the show, so I am not worried at all if that is what people recognise me from. It is a compliment.
Finally, I've read that someone came up with an ice-cream flavour based on your personality - do you think there's a Cadbury bar or block that best reflects you? And what about the other ''dream team'' members?
I think the Cadbury Bar that best reflects me is the Pinky Bar, it has marshmallow, caramel and chocolate and its pink...The team are probably best described as a box of Roses. We are all different but we work well as a team and you never really know what you are going to get.
Cadbury Dream Factory debuts 7.30pm, Thursday, February 20, TV3