She’s gone national

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Queenstown fashion shop worker Sara Ferry is suddenly a familiar face on national television – thanks to an advert for the National Bank.

The 28-year old often pops up on TV1 in the popular commercial, striking a windswept pose in a hot-air balloon above the Wakatipu.

Ferry, also a part-time television and film extra, shot the promo near Coronet Peak.

And since it started showing on the box, she’s no longer just a face in the crowd.

“As soon as the ad began screening I got texts from people all over the country I hadn’t seen for years asking if it is me,” she explains.

“I’ve also had a new flatmate move in and he kept saying he was sure he knew me from somewhere, before he finally twigged: “You’re that girl from the advert on TV, aren’t you?”

And Ferry jokes: “I suppose when you get your 15 minutes – or in my case, a few seconds – of fame you’ve got to milk it for all you can.”

Although the Sunshine Bay girl gets to look glam in the big-money bank ad, it was no glamorous job filming it.
“It looks like I’m floating up in the sky in a balloon but I was actually plonked in a basket that was dangling from a crane in a field – the rest is all special effects,” she says.

Ferry, who is on the books of the resort-based Exposure Talent and Model Agency, is no stranger to the wacky world of showbiz bit-parts.

In 2004, she made a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance as a half-woman-half-horse Centaur creature in the first of The Chronicles of Narnia film fantasies.

“I spent three days filming it near Oamaru and made it on to the screen for a split second.”

She also spent an entire day doing endless starjumps for a Jetstar commercial and recently got dolled-up as a frolicking maiden in a Japanese TV ad for Shiseido makeup, filmed at Paradise, near Glenorchy.

Originally from Blenheim, Ferry moved to Queenstown two and a half years ago after travelling back and forth to the resort for a while.

“My mum lives on a yacht in Australia so I didn’t really have a conventional home.”

By day, Ferry works part-time at the Decode and Peter Alexander fashion shops in the CBD – but also has her own personalised jewellery business called Gaia Designs.

Her collection of hand-crafted rings and pendants – which she calls “spooks” – are sold at selected outlets in Queenstown and Auckland.

Ferry is even designing her own engagement ring, with the hesitant blessing of her Queenstown fiance Jesse Muntz.

“At first, Jesse thought it was a good idea, but now I think he feels a bit bad because I wouldn’t let him buy me a ring.

“But I wanted to design and make my own because it’ll be all that more special to me.”

Ferry adds: “My sideline as an extra and a model is great fun and I love doing it, but my main aim is to really get my jewellery business off the ground.”