New Zealand actor Morgana O'Reilly's bolter of a year

Kiwi actor Morgana O'Reilly (Housebound/ Neighbours) is having a bolter of a year.

She's just returned home to Aotearoa after filming season three of the gargantuan hit HBO show The White Lotus in time to shepherd in a brand new local show on Three called Friends Like Her.

The six-episode show is set in Kaikōura following the earthquakes and the story revolves around two besties Nicole and Tess as their relationship lands on shaky ground during a planned surrogacy.

O'Reilly leapt at the chance to dive into such a layered story.

"The metaphor of unearthing what is being concealed, and that comes through in the story the whole way through," she said.

"And you have to keep up as the audience about where your alliances lie and what is really going on; what is the truth? So the shaky ground thing is a great analogy for that".

This show gives O'Reilly the perfect opportunity to flex her formidable talent for meaty drama, an opportunity she was well ready for.

"This role, like really got under my skin. It was so lovely after a while doing lots of glorious, kooky comedy. We love it and it's so nice to have a shift in this space and be able to really flex some muscles in that drama stuff that was delicious."

And tell you what else O'Reilly found delicious? The buffet at The White Lotus.

Shot in Thailand, the Kiwi follows in the break-out footsteps of Australian actor Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus/The Last of Us)and comeback queen Jennifer Coolidge (The White Lotus/Legally Blonde).

So was the experience everything she imagined?

"It is delicious. And also daunting. It's a real exercise. And having to remind yourself that you have the right to be there," she said.

"The self-talk can get pretty mean. And then interesting to have to combat that and unpack that and go, 'no, no, it's fine'."

It's more than just fine, this could well be the biggest break of this talented actor's career.

"Even though the show is one of the biggest shows in the world, the cast and the crew are incredible. But they are no better or no worse than what I know here," she said.

"We're all just creatives trying to make something cool, so it feels really comfortable to be in that space."  

We have a while to wait to explore that space. There's no official release date for season three, but it's rumoured to be next year.

In the meantime, you can get your Morgana O'Reilly fix from Monday when her new show Friends Like Her premieres on Three and Three Now.