Spy: Waiheke baby madness for TV stars

Spy: Waiheke baby madness for TV stars


In the highly-anticipated return of award-winning crime drama The Gulf on Three, we discover that picturesque Waiheke Island is a dangerous place to live. However, the real-life stars of the show are proving that while there might be murderers round every corner, there might be a little baby magic in the drinking water.

Ido Drent, who plays Detective Justin Harding, nearly missed filming his final scenes on The Gulflast December, when wife Mandy went into early labour with their third child. Kate Elliott, who plays Harding’s crime-solving partner, has revealed to Spy she is expecting baby No 2 this year.

Another cast member on the crime series recently welcomed his first child. Fasitua Amosa, who plays a lawyer, and his partner had a son shortly after filming finished last year.

The character Drent plays on The Gulf, is a successful, career-focused single man, which couldn’t be further from the busy family man he has become in real life.

“It was touch and go as to whether I would make my final scenes when our daughter almost made an early arrival.” Drent told Spy.

“I woke up for my very last day of filming and Mandy said to me, ‘Now, I don’t want you to panic, but I’ve been having contractions all night.’ She insisted I head to the set but I was super stressed about it.

Drent’s final day of shooting was in the middle of nowhere with limited cell reception, a good hour out of Auckland.

“On my way there I stopped to get fuel in my truck and I was so distracted, I ended up putting petrol in my diesel. Needless to say, the truck didn’t make it very far after that and I had to ditch it on the side of the road and get rescued by the production team.”

Baby August actually arrived a couple of weeks later – exactly on her due date. “Probably the first Drent to be on time,” he says.

“I would love to say I got a bit of downtime off the back of the show to prepare, but Mandy and I have two young kids – which means down time isn’t really an option in our house.”

Drent says he and Mandy – who also have Bastion, 5, and Elliotte, 4 – feel very blessed.

“I’d be lying if we said it’s not a little chaotic now that we’re outnumbered. August has definitely been the easiest adjustment we’ve had but considering the years of sleepless nights, that’s probably not saying much.”

For co-star Elliott, it has been 12 years since her first child, Dee Dee, was born. The actor told Spy she was “surprised and delighted” about the upcoming addition to her family due this winter.

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