The homesick actress couldn’t contain her joy when her British family joined her for a quality time galloping in New Zealand
Oct 12, 2022 10:00 am
British actress Laura Patch appears in the third season of the teen drama mysticbased on New Zealand writer Stacy Gregg Pony Club Secrets Books. Laura plays the main character, Issie’s mother, Amanda Brown.
With a busy career and family in the UK, how did the producers of Mystic persuade you to go to New Zealand for three series?
I turned down the audition for the series because it meant five months in New Zealand away from my family in the UK. I have three children and a husband, so I didn’t want to be separated from them. Then my husband said, “But we can all go – it’s such an adventure!” So it was a little magical adventure. We have 12-year-old twins and an 8-year-old son, so we could transport them halfway around the world for a while. Our boys got to experience things they wouldn’t have experienced in the UK. Then the pandemic came, so we were in lockdown in NZ and we were like, ‘Oh, maybe we live in NZ now?’
Now you’re back in the UK, what are you working on?
I audition for a lot of things, which is always fun. But I’m also writing something that I’m in talks with some production companies about, which is pretty exciting.
What is the best thing about your life right now?
I can’t imagine it getting any better than this particular moment. We’re vacationing in Spain together and my boys are still young enough to feel like mine and we’re still all under the same roof. I love this bubble of a family that eats together every night. It’s so precious because in a second everything will change. It’s just a moment and I’m just enjoying what I have. Hence this wonderful idea of a crazy all-inclusive children’s holiday in Spain!
Who is the person who has influenced you the most?
My school drama teacher Mrs. Pearson. I was 15 and had chosen a pretty heavy feminist Spanish play to perform. She pulled me aside and I thought she was going to snatch the book out of my hand and I would be in trouble. But she said: “You can do this – you have talent and if you just focus a bit, this is the way for you.” Nobody had ever seen me like this before. I’m one of five brothers and sisters, all from different marriages, so we were pretty chaotic. It felt like someone pointed me in the right direction.
What do you owe your parents?
Both my parents were alcoholics and they say if you have that kind of childhood you either go one way or the other. Luckily I went the right way. It has given me a little understanding of the human condition and helped me make good decisions for myself. It probably also helped me become a kinder, more empathetic, and understanding person.
What single thing would improve your quality of life?
I can’t drive so it would be pretty good to be able to. I had about 900 hours of lessons and I fell on my driver’s test so I gave it a try! The last driving instructor told me I was like some of his older ladies who will never learn to drive. So that was helpful.
What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever bought or done for yourself?
After my children were born, I took a counseling course and it was one of the most fundamental things that changed my life. I went to the point where you graduate and get a qualification, then I stopped, which meant I couldn’t actually be a consultant and charge people for money.
What advice would you give yourself to a 15 year old?
At that age, I was struggling with pretty bad anxiety. So I would say, “Go to a counselor. You are absolutely brilliant. You are not crazy. Everything will be sorted out if you go and talk to someone.”
What books are on your bedside table?
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is a beautiful book. The message in it is that you can put down your bag of regrets and walk away.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I was going to say that I’m almost a trained consultant, so how about I have my own flower shop someday? I was 26 and had all these flowers delivered to my tiny bed. As you know I can’t drive so I grabbed a cab with all my flowers and walked to my stand in Marble Arch at Hay’s Galleria in London.
mystic is now available on TVNZ+.