You would imagine that beautiful Kiwi actress Siobhan Marshall has suitors knocking down her door. The gorgeous blonde’s doe eyes have an almost cartoon-like quality, and with a bubbly, funny personality to match, she’s undeniably a catch. But Siobhan is single and living at home with her mum – hardly bragging points for a woman who turns 30 in March.
The easygoing actress, who plays biker chick Linda in the new TV3 thriller The Blue Rose, is relishing being single for the first time since she was 17.
“I’ve always been quite independent,” says Siobhan, “but the shortest relationship I ever had was a year and a half, which is why I’m enjoying being single. “I’m not on the lookout [for a new man], though – I’m too busy,” she adds.
“I’m on the lookout for her though,” says her mum Audrey, who she has been living with for a year. Near the dining room of Audrey’s Auckland home is a side table covered with family photos.
There are loved-up pictures of Siobhan’s brother and sister and their respective partners, but, much to Siobhan’s amusement, the photo of her is a rather unglamorous shot of her holding up a fish.
She may have reached sex-symbol status after playing trampy Pascalle West on Outrageous Fortune, but Siobhan doesn’t care about her looks and prefers to kick about in her Ugg boots, without a lick of makeup.
Audrey, who works for an American software company, has been known to try to set Siobhan up with friends of her hairdresser. She hopes her “independent” daughter will fall for a down-to-earth Kiwi man – preferably one who knows how to fish.
“It takes a certain type of guy for us,” says Audrey (56). “We’re not the sort of women who sit at home and knit.”
“We can’t actually knit, that’s why,” says Siobhan. “We can’t really cook either, so we would prefer if the man could do those things!”
Audrey says she would like Siobhan to have a partner “who is on a normal working wage, so when she’s not working, she gets fed”.
Acting can be a financially volatile profession. Siobhan had a lengthy stint on Shortland Street (as namesake Siobhan O’Leary) after leaving Outrageous Fortune in 2010, and she has fought hard against being typecast as playing Pascalle-like characters.
She owns her own home in Oratia, Auckland, but she’s renting it out. She says she likes living back at home with Mum and enjoys establishing some roots, since she does have a tendency to be a bit of a gypsy.
After filming for The Blue Rose wrapped, the gorgeous star spent some of her summer driving around the North Island in her beaten-up old van. But the free spirit has now taken on some of the assertiveness of her tough-girl character, Linda.
“My life has strangely correlated with my roles,” says Siobhan, who loved filming her scenes on the motorbike for the show. Adds Audrey, “I know this from living with her, that she takes on the character she’s playing and takes it very seriously.”
“The other day I was in a car accident,” says Siobhan, “and I told the other guy off. He was in the wrong, but I would have never done that before.
“We realised later that I seem to do that, and it’s happened a few times before. When I was on Outrageous I started going out with this guy, who happened to live near the studio and was a total westie. Maybe I’ll end up with a bikey guy after this show.”
“No you won’t,” says Audrey. Audrey says Siobhan’s boyfriends have all been “nice guys”, but her acting work has at times been a major obstacle.
“She has had boyfriends who have been jealous of what she does in on-screen relationships. In fact, it broke up one relationship,” explains Audrey.
“Some of my exes found the lovey-dovey scenes I’ve done on TV harder [to watch] than the sex scenes,” adds Siobhan. “Watching me say ‘I love you’ to someone else has been harder.”
The current love of Siobhan’s life is her extremely well-trained kent terrier-miniature schnauzer cross, Bentley – Siobhan says some of her boyfriends have become jealous of him too. Audrey calls Bentley “her only grandchild” and loved looking after him when Siobhan was travelling.
The young actress makes fun of herself for living at home with her mum, but the experience of being back there has brought the pair even closer, says Siobhan.
“She’s a very good friend,” adds Audrey. “The companionship is really lovely and we do get on really well. I love having her at home.”
The Blue Rose screens Mondays at 8.30pm on TV3.