In the Bag: Roxie Mohebbi

Words by Yu Mei
Photos by Rob Tennent

Kiwi actress, Roxie Mohebbi, with her Teresa Tote in Brun Suede.

With her career on an upward trajectory, Kiwi actress, Roxie Mohebbi, has found moments of introspection to guide her. Read on to explore how her confidence has evolved, the practice of spontaneity, and her demandingly varied day-to-day.


I work in the film industry as an actor. I initially studied and worked as a NICU nurse, so the pivot was pretty dramatic. I always knew I was going to end up acting but I felt that I had to put a degree or ‘Plan B’ job in my back pocket first. I would cold-email agents in Auckland while I was nursing, then started off doing commercials and gave some cringe performances in a few low-budget films (which are unfortunately on the internet forever), but persevered until I got better and busier!

I am in a really enjoyable phase of my career where I have done a lot of the gruelling groundwork and am now working on long-form jobs. I am currently filming a TV show in Sydney where I am part of the leading cast. I shoot 4-5 days a week, usually starting at 6 am and getting home at 6 pm. This looks like being sleepy until I get out of hair and makeup, then to set where we rehearse the scene once or twice and then shoot it on two different cameras, from three different angles... and repeat. It’s a practice of staying present and keeping energy up through repetitive tasks as much as it is about being an artist.

I am a Capricorn and like to think I planned and persevered my way to where I am. This is in part true, but I underestimated how hard it would be in terms of 1. Initially having no connections within the industry 2. Being a brown woman in film and TV, and 3. How much groundwork and time it can take. The rejection is hell. The general laws of the acting land are problematic and unethical, and you spend a lot of time waiting for opportunities which are out of your hands. I am still learning a lot but I will put it down to integrity—that word is fundamental in showbiz.


Establishing my morning routine has been satisfying and helpful. I did a job this year which was full of stunts so I trained every day for a few weeks, doing intensive fights, boxing, sword fighting etc. The training catapulted me into taking exercise seriously and now I start most of my days with something physical followed by a matcha at home. It’s yum, it’s good for you, and I do it every single morning, sue me!

A year ago I would have said that I feel most confident when my career is going ‘well,’ which, at that time, would have meant I’m booked and busy. Now, I would say it is when I feel healthy mentally and physically—when I’m looking after myself. When I have been taking my vitamins and drinking lots of water, I walk differently, honestly.

As an actor you are your work and separating work and life can give you growing pains. Especially given that you don’t work for two months straight to then be thrust into chaotic 60-hour weeks with three days notice. I’m learning to find joy in the downtime and the silly little things like going for walks and being brave enough to try a trendy new cafe in a new city by myself. When I need to unwind I will spend the day with myself and practise being spontaneous. My job is filled with rigid routines and schedules so I struggle with doing anything spontaneously, but it’s my little treat to leave the house without a plan.


I enjoy dressing ‘masculine’ but having my hair and make-up, and accessories ‘feminine’. Currently, I am leaning into basics with fun accessories—I find it takes the stress out of getting dressed and moving around for work. I take the foundation pieces with me and then thrift fun accessories to make my clothes feel more ‘me’. Recently, my most cherished purchase was a pair of green basketball shorts from the Big Man clothing store in Ōtara.

I pair comfy sexy little tops with baggier pants or skirts, and match shoes, bags, and jewellery! I plan outfits around how I will be wearing my hair that day, which makes a difference if my hair is out and big, or slicked and tight.

I am starting to take investment in ‘ethical’ fashion more seriously. I love everything we do in New Zealand, it’s always so well-made. I feel most inspired by people in my day-to-day—I love artist Claudia Kogachi’s style and whole wardrobe which is top-tier vintage and local design, and my boyfriend, Leni, who wears unhinged outfits and is always excited by experimenting with his style (which as a 6”8 man is a statement already), and, of course, my Mum, who is Persian glamour; full colour, full life.


I am desperately organised. I have lists for my lists and love to plan and scheme. I’m not a big journaler so my lists and calendar are the way I look back on my life. I track every audition I have done and find it helpful to see progress. In my bag, pockets keep keys, lip stuff, headphones, a smaller zip bag for miscellaneous bits like hair ties, sunblock, and a cardigan wrapped around a laptop... my iPad, as that’s what I keep scripts on, and sometimes my little yellow good luck troll doll for meetings or auditions.

I love the Yu Mei Teresa Tote! It is SO big and I can carry my life around in it.

I am proud to say I have learnt to refine when packing, often taking less than I need. Packing organisers are so nice, excessive maybe but helpful when you're living out of a suitcase. Refining skincare (to almost two steps) also helps—some brands that do this nicely are Raaie, Sans [ceuticals]and Emma Lewisham. This has helped me avoid taking one hundred unnecessary serums and creams.

Roxie and her Teresa Tote in Brun Suede.


A piece of advice I would like to pass on is to love others! It is as simple as that. I don’t want to get too profound but the world needs empathy and love more than ever and I would urge everyone to try to live with that in mind.

One of my favourite stores in Auckland is Public Record on Ponsonby Road. It is so curated, classy, and thoughtful. Also, Curio Noir which is next door! It feels like an old Hollywood film set in there.

I also love Happy Takeaways in Westmere, Auckland—there is something so openhearted and nostalgic about sitting in an iconic fish ‘n’ chippy in the heart of a gentrified area.

When things feel crazy stop and cook yourself a meal and drink a big glass of water! And stop using maps on your phone. Ask people for directions instead, it will make your life happier!

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