5 mins with Ariāna Osborne 

Ariāna plays Tui in Madam. Playing on Three, Thursdays at 8:30pm and streaming on Three Now. We were able to catch up with the star for a quick chat!

1. What was the inspiration for your project and how long had you been working on it before launching?

Madam was inspired by the unpublished memoir of Antonia Murphy, who founded an escort agency built on the philosophy to protect her workers legal rights, their emotional well-being, and financial independence.

My journey with Madam started August last year when I first audition for Tui but it took about two years all together to get the show to this point, launched and ready for air. A truly massive job and feat from the production team! 

2. Can you share with us what a typical day looks like for you?

An average Madam day for me would start bright and early! I’d listen to a track from my characters playlist (somethings like Jasmin Sullivan, Santana) grab breakfast and coffee from the wonderful craft service team lead by head man and hero Alfonse. And then I’d go to makeup and wardrobe! Thanks to both teams, no matter how early or how tired I was, I always walked onto set looking and feeling absolutely HOT. Just like Tui! Special credit to the designers Sammy Salsa (costume), Susie Glass (hair and make up) and Sarah O’Gorman (key hair and make up) for coming up with genius.And then it’s basically a day of filming a bunch of scenes! 

3. The industry that you’re in now, was that always a career pathway you wanted to explore? And if not always, what sparked your initial interest?

I remember playing in my complex building courtyard and having the very clear thought that I am going to be an actor when I grow up, I was 7 years old so I also thought I’d be a power ranger or a cat whisperer – all still possible. 

I never took it too seriously beyond that point but once high school came to an end and I had to make a decision of where to go next, I took a bit of a left field, Troy Bolton (I was dubbed more of a ‘sporty girl’ at the time) swing and went to Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. 

4. Do you have a highlight experience from your years of work in the creative space?

Watching my friends grow; first day of Drama School I was 18 and I’m now 28. In those years I’ve met some very talented, dedicated and beautiful artists who were fresh and unsure (like me) and now they’re directors and writers and activists and leads in tv shows. It’s awesome, and I’m really proud of them.

5. Can you share something that may surprise people about what could go on behind the scenes of your work?

The set! The Art team built an entire 7 room motel from scratch! So everything you see as inside the motel was meticulously built, placed and ordered to look like a well (or badly) run motel. Not only does it look lived in on screen but there’s even details as small as hair ties and bobby bins on the floor that you might miss on tv but really helped make the space feel authentic and ours in real life. I was honestly in constant awe of the work from sibling power duo Brooke and Julian Darlison and their team.

6. Where would we find you in your spare time?

Watching MasterChef and leaving too many Letterbox reviews.

7. Best advice you’ve ever been given?

Always take the work seriously, never take yourself seriously.



Kimberley Crossman

Kimberley Crossman is a kiwi actress, author, and presenter. Oh and you are currently on her website reading a blog she has written.

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