NZ Woman's Weekly

Superstar: Madeleine Sami

Superstar: Madeleine Sami

Back by popular demand, season two of the hit Kiwi comedy series Super City returns to our screens this Friday – but we’re not the only ones catching on to Madeleine Sami’s unique style of comedy.

Shortly after the New Zealand comedienne finished filming the series, she hightailed it to the United States to do a pilot episode for US network ABC.

“It was really bizarre – I played all the same characters, but with American accents. We modified them slightly for US audiences, but by the end of it I couldn’t remember the original way they sounded,” laughs Madeleine.

Speaking to the Weekly from the LA apartment where she’s been based for the past few months, the Auckland-born actress says she is recovering from making Super City II, in which she plays four very outrageous characters.

There’s Ofa Faka’Apa’Apa, a benefits case manager with a tough-love attitude; Mary Dalziel, a washed-up karaoke singer from the suburbs; Ray Donaldson, a British panel beater who is determined to make his wife a bodybuilding champ; and Levi Tutaima, a semi-professional rugby player trying to prove himself to his bigger, stronger teammates.

Mary (45) is described as a 'aggressive flirt"

Madeleine not only acts all the main parts, but she also spent 18 months co-writing, producing and editing the show.

It was an exhausting process – one day she was too tired to remove her stage make-up and walked into a dairy wearing a beard, workman’s outfit and beer belly. So it’s not surprising she’s been taking it easy over the last few months.

“The mental process leading up to it is quite full-on. Then, once we’re shooting, I’m in make-up for three hours, before shooting all day without a break,” Madeleine explains.

“At the end of a usual day, there was four hours left before I needed to get back into the make-up chair again and I would have to decide, ‘Should I sleep, or should I eat?’ That catches up on you, so I have been doing a lot of sleeping lately, and eating a lot of burgers.”

Once on benefits herself, Ofa is one of the more unorthodox case workers.

Although she has yet to hear if her pilot has been picked up, the 33-year-old is due to return home this week for a family reunion – inspired in part by one of her on-screen characters. While performer Mary’s singing efforts leave much to be desired, playing the role rekindled Madeleine’s love for music.

During her time back home, the talented Kiwi is reuniting with her siblings, Anji and Priya, who make up their band The Sami Sisters.

“I really miss music and my sisters hate me for [doing this show] because it’s been a couple of years since we made our last album, so we’re going to make another one together.”

“There’s a feeling of relief when you come back. I look forward to going to a place that completely gets me. That’s not to say it’s not cool in Los Angeles – it’s just nice coming home.”

NZWW Dec-29-2014 issue

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