NZ yachtie Katie Flood on life Under Deck: ‘The toughest I’ve ever labored’

NZ yachtie Katie Flood on life Under Deck: ‘The toughest I’ve ever labored’

Under Deck is watched by tens of millions of viewers around the globe, and this season there’s a New Zealand accent on board. Tara Ward talks to Katie Flood about being all at sea. 
At first, Katie Flood didn’t assume a lot of Under Deck, the fact present that made her well-known.
“I’m very open in regards to the reality I used to take the piss out of it, like “this isn’t yachting”,” she says of the Bravo actuality franchise that captures the upstairs/downstairs world of superyachts. She’d solely seen the occasional episode from an early season, and wasn’t eager to get on board a present that regarded “a bit tough across the edges”.
New Zealander Katie Flood, chief stew on Under Deck: MediterraneanBut after seven years of working within the yachting business, Bravo caught the New Zealander at a weak second.
“For 4 years I had a casting agent message me, and I used to be like, no, no, no. Then on the day I walked off my boat final 12 months, I obtained one other message, and I used to be identical to, screw it, why not? It was a worldwide pandemic, the world was going tits up, and I used to be like, let’s simply see the place this goes.”
That curiosity noticed Flood develop into chief stew in season six of Under Deck: Mediterranean (a Under Deck spinoff primarily based in Croatia; there’s additionally Under Deck: Crusing and the upcoming Under Deck: Down Beneath). For a number of weeks, Flood’s each transfer aboard the Girl Michelle superyacht was captured on digicam as she stored the boat’s inside operating easily. Within the season at present screening on Three, we’ve watched Flood work onerous and play onerous in a excessive stress world the place the guidelines are good, however breaks are uncommon and days off even rarer.
And now? “It seems Under Deck was really among the best issues I’ve ever carried out.”

Under Deck is the vastly addictive actuality present that pulls again the curtain on life within the luxurious world of yachting. All of us aspire to be a part of the 1% who can afford these lavish holidays, but on Under Deck, you end up backing the underdog: the crew. There’s a scrumptious enjoyment of watching wealthy folks show that cash doesn’t purchase class, whereas the crew are those placing in 16 hour days to make sure each floor is freed from fingerprints and the champagne is all the time flowing.
Whangarei-born Flood reckons it’s these insights into the realities of the business that makes Under Deck so well-liked. “The minute I inform anyone that I work on a superyacht, they’re fascinated, grilling me with like 101 questions,” she says. Add a bunch of strangers residing and dealing collectively, some excessive upkeep company and delightful surroundings, and you’ve got all of the components for gripping actuality TV. “We’re underneath a lot stress that we do lose our shit, we do break down, we do have fights, there are crew romances,” Flood says. “It’s only a lot happening in a single very small area.”

Flood’s season of Under Deck: Med filmed for six weeks, with every of the 18 episodes following the crew as they scramble to fulfill the calls for of the constitution company. In previous seasons, Under Deck company have attached within the crow’s nest, threatened to herald colored gumballs on a helicopter, and demanded to observe an American soccer sport whereas the boat was at sea. Flood’s season was no completely different.
“I don’t really understand how they select the constitution company, however I can inform you they’re much more wild on Under Deck than by regular yachting requirements,” Flood says. That’s the entire level, she reckons. Rich billionaires who lounge round demanding nothing make for boring TV, however company who name off their wedding ceremony the night time earlier than the ceremony or who profit from the open bar all the time deliver the drama.

That’s not the one distinction to real-life yachting, and Flood now understands why she judged these early episodes of Under Deck so harshly. “Actually, you don’t have time while you’re filming to run a ship to the very best normal such as you usually would. It’s bodily not possible. It’s in all probability the toughest I’ve ever labored,” she says of life on Under Deck. “The job alone is already such a excessive intense atmosphere. Then you definately add 50 different folks operating across the boat, digicam crew, audio mixers, lighting, producers. It’s chaotic.”
Covid-19 added one other layer of depth to Flood’s season, which started filming in September 2020. Manufacturing employed a resort in Croatia the place everybody – together with company – needed to self-isolate for 10 days. “We had like 100 folks in our bubble,” Flood says, including crew was examined for Covid-19 twice every week and company needed to have a damaging take a look at earlier than stepping on board. “Really, the final constitution of Under Deck: Crusing, their company ended up testing optimistic so that they couldn’t movie the final constitution. It was simply very strict and really cautious.”

Whereas Flood was initially hesitant to look on a global actuality present, she says the general public response has been higher than she hoped. “You develop into very anxious since you hand over your life to those folks behind a pc, however I’ve truthfully been blown away,” Flood says. Her mother and father watch the present proudly in New Zealand, however on-line, Flood has skilled some backlash. “I’ve undoubtedly acquired the hate mail and the criticism and every part that comes together with this form of factor. However total, it’s been really tremendous optimistic.”
Flood isn’t the one New Zealander to look on Under Deck, however she’s proud to have flown the antipodean flag on such an enormous actuality franchise. “I get so many messages saying that I’ve represented New Zealand effectively, which is unimaginable to listen to,” she says. Would she do all of it once more, realizing what she does now about actuality TV? Completely, says Flood. “It was a fairly wild expertise.”
Under Deck: Mediterranean screens on Three on Thursdays at 8.30pm and is streaming on Three Now.

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