Shortland Street's Sophie McIntosh on her new life in the Cul De Sac

Sophie McIntosh plays medico Jen in The Cul De Sac.

Sophie McIntosh plays medico Jen in The Cul De Sac.

The world's adults aren't the only ones on the missing list as the local family drama The Cul De Sac returns for its second season.

Jack (KJ Apa) and Lucas (Beulah Koale) have mysteriously disappeared and the remaining trio – Rose (Greta Gregory), Eliza (Molly Leishman) and Tom (Flynn Steward) are still running, this time from the Reapers.

As they flee their menacing pursuers, the trio encounter the mysterious Caine (newcomer Ben Black), the leader of a camp of other children and teens, including Jen (Sophie McIntosh), their medico.

Still on the run... Eliza (Molly Leishman), Rose (Greta Gregory) and Tom (Flynn Steward).

Still on the run... Eliza (Molly Leishman), Rose (Greta Gregory) and Tom (Flynn Steward).

"She's a little bit quirky," says McIntosh. "In the initial scripts I got, she was kind of – not quite the comic relief – but she was a little bit of happiness in a very bleak situation. She's quite positive, wants everybody to be happy and get along."

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The former Shortland Street actress says Jen copes in a world without parents or technology far better than she believes she would.

"I would probably be a lot more like Rose really, stressing out," McIntosh says. "I don't think I could quite be as positive as Jen is. Even her clothes are bright."

While Rose and her band find a world without adults is scarier than the fun most youngsters anticipate, McIntosh, 21, says she enjoyed working with such a young cast.

"Season two had one adult (cast member) so it was a bit of a dream really. I've kind of gone from being on Shorty where I was very, very young to The Cul De Sac where it was like a bunch of friends. It was really fun."

McIntosh was in her last year at high school when she landed the role of Ferndale's Honour Aleni, the teen daughter of ambulance officer Sam (Rene Naufahu).

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"I had never really watched (the show) and I had no real understanding of just how big it was. It was a bit of a shock really."

Ironically, Honour's love interest on Shortland Street, Kane, was played by KJ Apa who starred in the first season of The Cul De Sac before seeking big projects in Los Angeles.

Apa is now starring in the drama Riverdale, he appeared alongside Dennis Quaid in the movie A Dog's Purpose and has just completed filming Altar Rock, a movie about the Boston Marathon bombing.

Fellow Cul De Sac actor Beulah Koale has also had success in the US, starring in the movie Thank You For Your Service with Amy Schumer and Keisha Castle-Hughes.

McIntosh is keen to follow in their footsteps. The university graduate – she has a double major in politics and history – also appears in the New Zealand/Chinese/United Kingdom sci-fi drama Into The Rainbow, about two teens who travel inside a rainbow to China where they become involved in a race against time to save Earth.

"It's probably good to play young for as long as possible," McIntosh says, "but I would love to do some gritty drama stuff."

The Cul De Sac, TVNZ 2, returns Sunday July 9.

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 - TV Guide


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