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Meet Nell Irene Rainee

Posted on November 12, 2018 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Meet Beth Allen's baby girl Nell, who shares her name with mom and great grandmother.


Beth’s lit­tle an­gel

Woman’s Day (NZ) 12 Nov 2018

At the very reasonable hour of 10.32am on a Tuesday in May, beautiful baby girl Nell Irene Rainee McDermott was born via Caesarean at Auckland Hospital to the tune of John Legend’s “Penthouse Floor”.

And although her parents, former Shortland Street actress Beth Allen and her husband Charlie McDermott, insist they didn’t plan for the funky jam to be playing, the laid-back song sure fits their cruisy wee gem.

“They let you put on a playlist and it’s quite civilised,” tells actor and theatre producer Charlie, 35. “We walked in at 7.30am and had a baby at half past 10. It was like a well-oiled machine! She came out, I took one look at her and thought, ‘You’re going to be easy!’”

“And she is,” smiles Beth, 34. “I remember when they held the baby up. I could hear the happiness and elation in Charlie’s voice, then they handed her to me and she was so chill – she just lay there and looked at us. Ever since, she’s been really low-key. She doesn’t complain and doesn’t fuss, so she’s fitted in really well.”


While the mother-of-two, who played scheming Brooke Freeman on the iconic Kiwi soap, had hoped to give birth naturally following the C-section she had with son Sid in 2016, doctors insisted she undergo the operation again as she showed no sign of going into labour almost a week after Nell’s due date.

Beth confesses, “I’m a bit gutted because it’s something I always thought I would do and now, if I have any more children, I definitely can’t have a natural birth. I’ll get over it, I’m sure, but I was disappointed. That said, in the end, it’s all about the baby, not the birth, isn’t it?”

As the actress smiles down at her little girl, Nell also breaks into a grin, prompting proud dad Charlie to exclaim, “I just love her! You can’t not. It’s a weird biological thing that makes you beam. When she smiles back, she looks like a very happy starfish.”

Beth adds, “There is that cheesy thing where you’re not sure if you could love another child as much as the first, but you just have more love if you’ve got two of them.”


Having named Sid, now two, after Beth’s great-grandfather, the Auckland couple gave their newborn the actress’ grandmother’s name, which is also Beth’s middle name. She explains, “We wanted something shorter because she has a long last name. It’s feminine, beautiful but still quite strong.”

Her middle names honour other family members – Rainee comes from Beth’s mum Laraine, while Irene was Charlie’s grandmother who sadly passed away a few months before Nell was born.

It takes two!

After a couple of years working hard here and in the US, Charlie – who created and produced the hit show Pleasure dome: The Musical – confesses that having a second child has forced him to slow down. “Now it’s like I can take my foot off the pedal and enjoy the moment,” he says.

Beth agrees, “I really feel like it’s solidified us as a family. When you’ve got two kids, you have no option but to all be together and that’s really nice.

Big brother Sid seems happy to have a baby sister too, briefly glancing away from Peppa Pig to give her a kiss on the forehead when he thinks no-one is looking.


And although they have a busy household with two children, a dog named Ned and cat called Billie Jean, Charlie and Beth admit adding to their brood is definitely on the cards.

Charlie says, “I was one of four and Beth’s one of three, so I think we’ll have another one.”

Nodding, Beth agrees, “We make nice kids – that’s what the obstetrician says. We should have some more.”


Beth Allen's baby joy

Posted on September 7, 2016 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

By her own admission, actress Beth Allen is the queen of organisation. She bought her first house aged 19 and has been known to do her taxes during hair and make-up.

But her plans for giving birth naturally were literally turned upside down at the last minute when her unborn baby boy refused to relinquish his breech position.

“We tried everything,” says the 32-year-old, as husband Charlie McDermott nods in agreement. “I got acupuncture and had Charlie burning sticks by my feet. I did self-hypnosis, I lay upside down on an ironing board propped up against the couch. I even went to the hospital to have him turned manually but my stomach muscles were too tight – I knew those sit-ups were a bad idea at the time!” 

But nothing would budge the bubba, so Beth was told the safest option was to have a Caesarean at 39 weeks – and Sidney Jolyon McDermott was born on May 6.


 

“I was initially quite disappointed because I had wanted to have a natural birth,” smiles Beth, who played scheming Dr Brooke Freeman in Shortland Street. “But once I knew the date, I went into proactive mode again. The day before, I went and got my hair blow-dried. I just thought, ‘Bugger this! If I can’t have a natural birth, I might as well just enjoy it and look good in the photos!’”

As Sid beams his way through our Woman’s Day shoot, it’s clear he’s already picked up a few tips from his photogenic mum. The 17-week-old heartbreaker smiles as Beth explains his old-fashioned-yet-cool moniker.


“We really liked Sid and then we realised it was also a family name – my great-great-grandfather was Sidney. He can be Sid to his mates and Sidney when he’s a barrister,” she laughs.

 

But while Beth was more than ready for the birth, hubby Charlie’s needle phobia meant that he was a bit shaky. “I hate needles,” tells the 33-year-old media consultant. “I was white as a ghost! I definitely struggled, but Beth was very stoic. She’s amazing.”


To the soothing strains of “Fish in the Sea” by Kiwi favourites Fat Freddy’s Drop, Sid made his grand entrance.


“It was like a stereotypical ray of light when he arrived,” recalls Charlie. “It hits you like a train, the relief and the joy that he’s OK.” Beth reveals her healing was so speedy that “recovering from C-sections should be listed as my super-power”.

Beth’s father Jolyon, from whom Sid takes his second name, teaches business management at Auckland University. But when he comes home from work, he puts the tot in a front pack and takes him for a stroll.

 

“People look at us a bit funny because they can’t figure out who he belongs to,” laughs Beth. “Dad always says, ‘He’s not mine!’ It’s really nice to have several pairs of extra hands around.”


“It’s so special for Sid to be so connected to his extended family and this place,” adds Charlie, a theatre producer who’s also currently working with creative production agency Augusto. “There’s nine new dads at work, so I’ve been learning lots of fatherhood tips round the water cooler!”

Despite putting their plans to return to the US on the backburner, the couple, both US permanent residents who moved to New York two years ago to chase career dreams, are planning a trip to Hawaii later this year to procure Sid his green card. But for the next year or so, their hearts and souls will be firmly back in Aotearoa.

“I’ve always been very driven,” says Charlie, “but as soon as I had a child, my value set changed overnight. It was a realisation to say bugger the career and American ambitions, and spend time in New Zealand doing what we actually want and what’s good for our baby. You stop – finally – worrying about yourself! It’s like, ‘Oh, good, all my worry can go on this little person now.’ Every day something new happens,” he marvels.

 

Home for the new family is currently Beth’s parents split-level West Auckland home, where the family’s dogs appear disinterested in the new addition – unlike his besotted grandparents.


The proud parents have already taken their baby boy to one of their favourite Kiwi places – the Coromandel’s Whangapoua, near New Chums Beach, where Charlie proposed to Beth. “That place is so magical,” smiles Charlie. “It was so great to take Sid there. He loved it.”


For her part, Beth’s loving having her sister Dinah – freshly returned from a long stint working overseas – and mum Laraine around while workaholic Charlie gets stuck into his creative work projects.


“It’s meant I’ve been able to go back to the gym – another good thing about living with the grandparents,” smiles the svelte new mum. “I just say, ‘Do you wanna look after the baby for an hour? And they go ‘yes!’”


“That’s really massive for me,” says Charlie. “I consider work my hobby too, so I work crazy hours and it’s really good for Beth to have such incredible support at home.” Concludes Beth, “Having Sid has also made me realise that the biggest clichés about babies are true. You really don’t know just how much you are going to love them.”

Baby Sid

Posted on August 13, 2016 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello beautiful people! As many of you know, Beth took a break from acting in 2015 to move to USA with her husband for a while.

She is now back in NZ and has adjusted to one of the biggest roles yet, being a first time mom to a beautiful baby boy.

Big congratulations to Beth and Charlie!

Photo credit: A.Billing



Turning 30 is fabulous!

Posted on June 29, 2014 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Beth Allen hit the big 30 on May 28th and celebrated together with her bestie Antonia Prebble (who also turned 30), throwing a big 90s theme costume party on June 7th.

Shortland Street’s Beth Allen readily admits she never imagined her life past 22 years old. So as she sat down to a glass of bubbles and mushrooms on toast on the morning of her 30th birthday, it was something of a pleasant surprise to reflect on how well everything has worked out.

While many face the big 3-0 with trepidation, the soap star, who plays Dr Brooke Freeman, is embracing the new decade.

‘I’m more excited about my thirties than I was my twenties,’ enthuses Beth, who saw in the big day with adoring husband of three years Charlie McDermott.

‘I feel really good. I married a lovely man and I’ve got great friends, quite exciting plans and big goals on the horizon

‘I definitely feel like I’m going to be a better person in my thirties. I might just rock it out.’


While there’s plenty to be grateful for in her life, one special relationship stands out for the stunning actress.

‘I’m really proud of my marriage. Charlie and I have worked really hard at creating something we feel good in and it’s not always easy in a marriage. People don’t often talk about how it is hard, but I’m really proud of how far we’ve come and our next steps.’

To celebrate the exciting milestone, Beth teamed up with her best friend, The Blue Rose star Antonia Prebble, to throw an epic ’90s-themed bash, where they were joined by Shortie cast members including Sally Martin, Amelia Reid, Jacqueline Nairn and Ria Vandervis.

Beth and Antonia dressed as Patsy and Edina from TV series Absolutely Fabulous – and the birthday girl says it was only natural she celebrated in true ’90s style

’I’ve always loved it. I grew up in the ’90s and I loved Friends and Alanis Morissette and Ab Fab. At primary school we drove everyone insane by calling each other “sweetie darling” (Ab Fab’s catchphrase) constantly.’

While she loves reminiscing, Beth is just as excited about the future. ‘I want to travel more, I’d like to go and study again and I’d like to have some babies, fingers crossed,’ she says. ‘Those are my top three. I don’t want to put too much on the bucket list or I’ll be overwhelmed.’


Despite her enthusiasm, Beth admits to a few nerves about her changing appearance as she ages.

‘While it’s great to look good and feel good for yourself, there’s a pretty high standard for women in film and TV and it’s a lot of work,’ says Beth, who works out five to six times a week

‘If I’m going to act for a living I’ll have to work even harder as I get older. I’m interested to see how I’ll feel about it. Maybe I’ll have kids and decide I can’t be bothered anymore.’

But Beth hasn’t always handled challenges so calmly. She recalls being 18 years old and vowing to quit acting if she wasn’t making a living from it by 28.

I worried a lot about how things were going to work out. I felt quite anxious I was never going to be able to do what I loved,’ she says, revealing she once considered throwing it all in for a career in advertising.

‘There were a few years where I felt a bit stuck. There are still moments in life where I think, “Oh God, is this going to be all right?” But they feel like worried days rather than months now.’

The inspirational women Beth works with on Shortie are there to remind her age is no barrier


‘Angela Bloomfield [Rachel McKenna] is older than me but she is so young at heart and really enjoys the moment-to-moment stuff,’ she says.

It’s an outlook Beth hopes to emulate herself

‘My motto this year is to turn fear into curiosity. I don’t care so much what people think now. I can trust my instincts on things and know I’m probably taking myself in the right direction.’

Happy 2014

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello all, its update time again. Hope you have had a great start to 2014. Here's a lighthearted little audio interview with Beth Allen from ZM Online where she talks hair, ex-boyfriends and body issues. 

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In Good Company

Posted on August 15, 2013 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

by Donna Fleming

You would think Beth Allen had plenty on her plate playing Shortland Street’s Brooke Freeman.

But when she’s not in front of the camera pretending to be the scheming doctor, you’ll usually find the talented actress in her dressing room, doing accounts, writing out invoices or emailing theatres. 

As if working on the fast-turnaround TV show wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Beth also runs a company – Royale Productions – with her husband Charlie McDermott, and has become adept at multitasking.

 

“The other day I did my GST while I was having my hair done,” says Beth (29).

“It takes a long time to get me ready to be Brooke – I’m in the make-up chair for an hour and 15 minutes – so I might as well use that time. And when I do have other downtime, I can use it to get Royale stuff done.”

Beth, who has been acting since she was 11, finds she has time on her hands because she is able to learn lines quickly, and her character isn’t often required for scenes unless they are necessary to her storyline.

 

“The good thing about Brooke is she doesn’t have any friends, so she doesn’t sit in the staff room ‘catching up’ with people. Brooke’s scenes tend to be all about Brooke, so I tend to have fewer than other actors,” says Beth, laughing.

 

The name Royale Productions is inspired by their names – Elizabeth and Charles. 

You might wonder why Beth feels the need to take on extra commitments when she has an established role, but she points out that acting is not the most stable employment, and she and Charlie (also an actor-turned-producer) are keen to create opportunities – not just for themselves, but other actors, too. 

“This is a really fickle industry – you don’t know what will happen next,” Beth says. 

“I want to build a foundation for after Shortland Street. It is good to have something else you can do.”

 

Plus, Beth doesn’t like sitting around doing nothing. 

“Well actually, some days I do. But when I’m working, I like to get a lot done. I enjoy the extra stimulation that producing gives me.” 

Royale Productions has been responsible for a variety of theatre shows, including good friend Michael Hurst’s one-man show No Holds Bard, and an interactive production called Apocalypse Z, in which the audience becomes part of a zombie invasion. 

Royale is also producing a two-hander play later this year titled Between the Sheets, starring Beth and Michael’s wife Jennifer Ward-Lealand.

 

“Producing did start out as a way of creating my own projects, but it has turned into a lot more than that,” says Beth. 

Charlie agrees. “As an actor, I need to be in charge of my own destiny – I don’t want to have to rely on someone else.

“But as well as being able to come up with projects that I can do, I also like the idea of leaving my mark on the industry by providing pathways for others.”'


Along with producing and acting, Charlie is also the general manager of Auckland’s Basement Theatre. It means a full schedule, but like his wife, who he married in February 2011, he’s not afraid of rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in.

“I love hard work,” says Charlie (30). “I come from a farming background, from salt-of-the-earth people who expect to work hard.

“If you want to achieve anything, that’s what you have to do, and the creative industries are no different.”

Beth admits they have to be careful not to take on too much.


“My work/life balance does tend to get a bit out of whack.”

Running a business together can be tricky for some couples, but it’s easier for Charlie and Beth because they are not in an office together all day.

“I don’t think we could do it if we had to sit side by side,” says Beth. “It would be too much.”

“It is probably just as well Beth is at Shortland Street,” adds Charlie, grinning at his wife.

“Like every partnership, it takes work. We are both pretty stubborn people and have to remove emotion from it and just think about what is best for our livelihoods.”

And they tend not to quarrel, according to Beth – at least not over important stuff.


When she’s not playing manipulative Brooke in Shortland Street, Beth is learning the ins and outs of production.

“If we do argue, it is about small things, like whose turn it is to do the dishes. We’re lucky that we are a really good team.” 

They complement each other, adds Charlie, because while he’s good at seeing the big picture, Beth is great at the details. 

“She’s so brainy,” he says. “The brainiest person I know. She’s just amazing.” 

Beth, meanwhile, credits her husband of two years with helping her think outside of the square.

“He has such great ideas. I’ve learned a lot – he is always spurring me on. He has given me so much confidence in myself. I’m not really a confident person in a lot of ways, but that’s why I’ve got Charlie.”


It’s a two-way street, says Charlie. “Beth really helps to inspire me.“

The couple have lots of ideas for creative projects further down the track, and have come up with plans for the next 12 months, five and 10 years, both personally and professionally.

“We are determined to stick to those plans,” says Charlie. 

“For example, I would love for us to have a baby right now, but it is not in our immediate plans and there are lots of good reasons why we should wait.” 

“It is on the cards,” confirms Beth. “We do want to have a family, but I’m not leaving Shortland Street anytime soon.

“There are still lots of things we want to do first, so a baby won’t be happening just yet.”

Charlie adds, “Having a child is the ultimate goal and we want to do everything properly and be financially secure. So we’re working hard and smart now, so we will be able to do that further down the track.”