Spy: Lotto’s Sonia Gray Becomes Netflix Royalty
Sonia Gray is coming to Netflix this week.
One of New Zealand’s most recognizable faces, Lotto presenter Sonia Gray will show Netflix audiences a whole new side when she stars in The Royal Treatment, which premieres this Thursday.
The film, shot in Dunedin early last year, stars Aladdin’s Mena Massoud as Prince Thomas of Lavania and American actress and singer Laura Marano, who plays New York hairdresser Isabella in the Prince-meets-commoner romantic comedy tale, which is sure to delight fans of the genre.
Dunedin’s Larnach Castle replaces the royal residence of the fictional country of Lavania, Gray tells Spy, it was the longest she had spent in Dunedin and she fell in love with the town’s beautiful, laid-back vibe and character. .
“It was an awesome production to be a part of. My character is Madame Fabre – a haughty French woman with a terrific disposition. She terrorizes and terrifies those who don’t live up to her high standards. Honestly, it was so much fun to play someone so mean!” Gray said.
“My character played the piano, so I had to learn part of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. It was a challenge, because I hadn’t even touched a piano in 20 years.”
Gray says Massoud and Marano were amazing to work with, as were all the cast and crew.
“It’s a feel-good film, both heartwarming and funny and although it’s an American film, there’s no doubt that New Zealanders will recognize that it’s filmed here.
His former Sione’s Wedding co-star Teuila Blakeley plays Prince Thomas’ mother, the Queen. Other Kiwis to watch are Amanda Billing, Chelsie Preston Crayford and Cameron Rhodes.
Gray is in her 17th year of presenting the lotto and says she was delighted to be back on screens last weekend after a long break in lockdown.
“It’s so great to be back and see everyone. Lotto has a really big team so it wasn’t safe to do the draw during lockdown – we couldn’t get back until being in Orange. It was a long time off!”
Gray says she’s always been more of a presenter than an actress, but she’s always open to more opportunities. Her next project, which she is very excited about, is due to start filming and is a documentary for TVNZ on neurodiversity, which includes conditions such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia and Tourette syndrome.