Rueben Milner was certainly thrown in the deep end when he first arrived on Shortland Street. He'd only been filming for a few weeks, playing the role of Kane's best mate Jack Hannah, when he was assigned to film with music super star Ed Sheeran who made a cameo appearance on the show to publicise the release of his album, X.
Reuben admits it was a daunting process, but Ed turned out to be lovely, and he now considers the experience to be one of the many highlights of his time on the show.
Reuben's role as teenager Jack was initially written to be a small guest role, and Reuben spent his time commuting between his hometown of Whangarei and Auckland for filming. But in 2015, the talented young actor got the phone call to let him know that the producer of Shortland Street wanted to make Jack a permanent character, and introduce the character's family to the show as well.
Reuben is now relishing the chance to work with his onscreen family, which includes the very experienced Jarod Rawiri playing his father, Mo and young actors Thomasin McKenzie as sister, Pixie and Jayden Daniels as big brother Curtis.
The 19 year old admits learning that his character would go through struggles with his sexuality was originally a little daunting, but he is also relishing the challenge the role offers him.
Reuben says he always dreamed of being an actor when he was growing up, but it wasn't until he got involved in drama at high school and was awarded the drama prize for Year 12 that he considered it being something he could make into a career. He also spent several years as a member of the Northland Youth Theatre. Shortland Street was his first television acting gig, but during his time away from the show he also managed to squeeze in a role in the local series Terry Teo.
When he's not busy with his work on Shortland Street, Reuben still enjoys heading home to Whangarei to see his family and includes skating and surfing amongst his many hobbies.