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'actor' Posts

Cliff Curtis: On his classic NZ movie roles...

Posted on 24 November 2014

From playing a human mule in The Piano, a dandy in Desperate Remedies and a hated villain in Once Were Warriors, actor Cliff Curtis has appeared in many of New Zealand’s most significant films. His most recent local role is as Genesis Potini in the acclaimed Dark Horse. Curtis has also forged a successful international acting career; and moved into working as a producer, because of his desire to work on Māori stories.

In this ScreenTalk, Curtis talks about:

  • The pros and cons of carrying a musical instrument in The Piano 
  • Being challenged by the sexuality of his character in Desperate Remedies
  • Being unsure if he wanted the film Once Were Warriors to be made
  • Detaching himself from the role of Bully in the movie
  • Loving the romance of the film Whale Rider
  • The “torturous” path of River Queen 
  • How The Dark Horse is the defining moment of his career
  • Hating having to gain weight for the role
  • The reason he became a film producer

This video was first uploaded on the 24th of November 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

cliff curtis, once were warriors, river queen, the dark horse, actor, desperate remedies, the piano, jane campion, vincent ward, whale rider, anna paquin, james naper robertson, tom hern

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Simone Kessell: Acting at home and abroad...

Posted on 20 October 2014

Simone Kessell first appeared on screen playing Hannah Tumai on short-lived soap Homeward Bound. She acted in both Hercules and Xena before being cast as a TV journalist on Cover Story, and as the lead in period drama Greenstone. Kessell has worked in both America and Australia, and appeared in Aussie dramas Underbelly and Wonderland.

In this ScreenTalk, Kessell talks about:

  • Learning an Australian accent to play a Māori role on Homeward Bound
  • Getting a role on Cover Story when only 18 years old
  • Having to find a ‘fake’ way to cry on set 
  • Having issues with her character in period drama Greenstone 
  • Being proud of the part she played in series two of Underbelly
  • Becoming a ‘kickass’ soldier fighting dinosaurs on Terra Nova
  • Feeling devastated after being shot in the head on set
  • Rehearsing in 40 degree heat for time travel tale The Lovers 
  • Playing a hooker with a heart of gold in Aussie drama Wonderland

This video was first uploaded on the 20th of October 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

simone kessell, actor, hercules, xena, underbelly, homeward bound, hannah tumai

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Kate Harcourt: On a lifetime of performance…

Posted on 22 September 2014

Veteran actress Kate Harcourt has had a long and distinguished career in theatre, television and film. Her first television role was as a presenter on the Wellington version of children’s show Junior Magazine. She would later appear in TV dramas such as Country GP, Plain Tastes, and the TV play Loose Enz - Free Enterprise. Harcourt has also acted in a number of feature films including Mr Wrong, Apron Strings and Savage Islands. Her most recent role was in Gaylene Preston’s TV miniseries Hope and Wire.

In this ScreenTalk, Harcourt talks about:

  • Presenting next to a terrifying hippopotamus on Junior Magazine
  • Making sure she stuck to the script filming Beyond Reasonable Doubt
  • Meeting Arthur Allan Thomas on the set
  • Being confronted by a mouse in a sandwich in Loose Enz - Free Enterprise
  • Exposing herself to the cast on the set of Savage Islands
  • Having an odd conversation with actor Tommy Lee Jones
  • Winning ‘best female actress’ for the film Pacific Dreams
  • How workshopping with other actresses influenced the script of Hook, Line and Sinker
  • Working in the red zones of Christchurch filming Hope and Wire
  • Why theatre is her greatest love 

This video was first uploaded on September 22 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

actress, actor, theatre, television, film, junior magazine, plain tastes, loose enz, loose enz - free enterprise, mr wrong, apron strings, savage islands, hope and wire, beyond reasonable doubt, savage islands, tommy lee-jones, beyond reasonable doubt, hook, line and sinker, pacific dreams

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Alan Dale: NZ to Neighbours to Hollywood…

Posted on 18 August 2014

Dunedin-born Alan Dale always had his sights set on brighter lights: first Auckland, then Sydney, then Los Angeles, where he now lives. He started out performing in amateur theatre, but came to professional acting late, taking a DJ slot on Radio Hauraki in his late 20s, followed by a role on the Hauraki-inspired series Radio Waves

Moving to Australia, Dale appeared on The Young Doctors, before playing the fondly remembered solo father, Jim Robinson, for almost a decade on Neighbours. 

Since moving to Los Angeles, he has often played bad guys, authority figures and moguls on series including ER, Lost, NCIS, 24, The X Files and Entourage, plus high profile roles on The OC and Ugly Betty, and parts in feature films including Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. 

Dale has returned to New Zealand for only two series: Plainclothes and Auckland Daze. He also appeared in Flight of the Conchords on HBO, playing the Australian Ambassador. In 2014, Dale was cast as General Rysen, a lead in the SyFy series Dominion

In this ScreenTalk, Dale talks about:  

  • Growing up in a theatre family
  • Deciding to become an actor at age 29 
  • Talking his way onto Radio Hauraki after hearing a DJ quit live on air while he was doing a milk run
  • Talking his way into television in a similar way 
  • Playing a version of his Radio Hauraki boss in his first screen role on Radio Waves
  • Landing an agent and a job on his first day in Australia 
  • His eight years playing kindly patriarch Jim Robinson on Neighbours 
  • Why he wasn’t upset at being written out of Neighbours 
  • How Natalie Imbruglia’s music video for Torn (which was directed by Alison Maclean) inspired him to move to Hollywood
  • Taking acting lessons for the first time as an older actor in Los Angeles
  • Discovering, after years as the “nice guy”, how to play bad guys
  • Why he’s glad his mother wasn’t alive to see Auckland Daze
  • Flying to New York to play the Australian Ambassador in the HBO series Flight of the Conchords 

This video was first uploaded on August 18 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

alan dale, radio waves, radio hauraki, the young doctors, neighbours, jim robinson, hollywood, actor, er, lost, ncis, 24, the x files, entourage, the oc, ugly betty, indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull, plainclothes, auckland daze, flight of the conchords, dominion, hollywood

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James Napier Robertson: The Dark Horse director…

Posted on 4 August 2014

James Napier Robertson began his career as an actor in the teen shows Being Eve and The Tribe. Finding acting unfulfilling, he moved into writing and directing with the short film Foul Play, before forming a production company with business partner Tom Hern. Since then Napier Robertson has directed two features: I’m Not Harry Jenson and The Dark Horse.

In this ScreenTalk, Napier Robertson talks about:

  • Feeling validated yet unfulfilled as an actor on Being Eve
  • Meeting his future production partner Tom Hern on the kids show The Tribe
  • Possibly taking on too many roles directing his short film Foul Play
  • Underestimating the budget on his first feature film I’m Not Harry Jenson
  • Thinking he’d almost killed one of the actresses on set
  • The responsibility of writing the true story The Dark Horse
  • Feeling very lucky to have created a dream cast for the film

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence. 

 
 

  Tags

director, the dark horse, dark horse, being eve, the tribe, actor, foul play, tom hern, im not harry jenson, acting

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Kelly Johnson: Saying Goodbye to Pork Pie...

Posted on 9 June 2014

Kelly Johnson is best remembered for his lead role in the iconic Kiwi film Goodbye Pork Pie. He followed that success with roles in the films Carry Me Back, Bad Blood, Battletruck and Utu. In more recent times, Johnson has worked as a lawyer, but he still does occasional guest acting roles, including in Shortland Street and Maddigan’s Quest

In this ScreenTalk, Johnson talks about: 

  • Understanding the process of filmmaking on the set of Goodbye Pork Pie
  • Feeling excited to be acting in the country’s first road movie
  • What the film means to him now
  • Having problems with an old car in the television film Hang on a Minute Mate
  • Underplaying the comedy on Carry Me Back
  • Hanging out with the American crew on Battletruck
  • The moody nature of the area when filming Bad Blood
  • Trying to work out the acting style required for the movie Utu
  • Feeling proud and privileged to have been a part of New Zealand’s early film industry

This video was first uploaded on June 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

kelly johnson, goodbye pork pie, carry me back, bad blood, battletruck, utu, shortland street, actor, maddigans quest, hang on a minute mate

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Kevin J Wilson: On avoiding the leading role...

Posted on 14 April 2014

Veteran actor Kevin J Wilson has made a career out of playing no-nonsense Kiwi blokes. His film credits include Pictures, Wild Horses and Chunuk Bair. He played Janet Frame’s father in Jane Campion’s An Angel at My Table, starred in the Wellington-based TV cop series Shark in the Park, and replaced the late Bruno Lawrence in the Aussie comedy show Frontline.

In this ScreenTalk, Wilson talks about:

  • How the weather on a Pukemanu shoot changed industry pay rates
  • Not really knowing what he was doing in the film Pictures
  • How troubled feature film Wild Horses went wrong right from the beginning
  • Enjoying hanging out with real cops preparing for Shark in the Park
  • Playing ‘end of an era’ character Sgt Jessop in the show
  • Meeting Janet Frame on the set of An Angel at My Table
  • Working with the “intense but wonderful” Jane Campion
  • Feeling the film Chunuk Bair looked too much like a piece of theatre
  • Taking over from Bruno Lawrence as the star of Australian comedy Frontline 
  • Getting his first ever sex scene, with Lucy Lawless in Spartacus
  • How avoiding lead roles can give you longevity as an actor

This video was first uploaded on 14 April 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

kevin j wilson, pictures, wild horses, chunuk bair, an angel at my table, shark in the park, frontline, pukemanu, actor

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Mark Hadlow: From a teenage bully to a troll and a dwarf…

Posted on 21 January 2014

Actor Tandi Wright once called Mark Hadlow "the best physical comedian I've ever seen". 

Hadlow first appeared on our TV screens as a teenage bully in Children of Fire Mountain. Later he worked alongside Ilona Rodgers and Billy T James in the sitcom version of The Billy T James Show. His flair for comedy earned him starring roles in the film Just Me and Mario, and TV series Willy Nilly. Hadlow has worked twice with director Peter Jackson – first providing voices to a range of characters in Meet the Feebles, and then playing both a dwarf and a troll in The Hobbit trilogy.

In this ScreenTalk, Hadlow talks about:

  • Turning disappointment into triumph with Children of Fire Mountain
  • Being hospitalised after an accident on set
  • Working hard in the starring role of film Just Me and Mario
  • Having fun playing a dopey Australian on The Billy T James Show
  • Being nominated for a 'best actress' award after playing a hippo and a hedgehog in Meet the Feebles
  • Never having a bad day on the set of Willy Nilly
  • How co-star Sean Duffy influenced him on the show
  • The best six weeks of his life: rehearsing for King Kong with Naomi Watts
  • Bringing Bert the Troll to life in The Hobbit
  • Being teased mercilessly by fellow actor Martin Freeman

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

mark hadlow, children of fire mountain, actor, ilona rodgers, billy t james, the billy t james show, just me and mario, willy nilly, peter jackson, meet the feebles, the hobbit, sean duffy, martin freeman, king kong, naomi watts, bert the troll, best actress, tandi wright, bill johnson, terence cooper, mike smith, heidi the hippo

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Shane Cortese: On being a bad guy...

Posted on 23 December 2013

Shane Cortese made a name for himself on stage in London’s West End before coming home to New Zealand to begin a career in television. Since his return, Cortese has played TV roles across the spectrum of characters, including the evil Dominic Thompson in Shortland Street, and more recently Hayden Peters in Outrageous Fortune. In this ScreenTalk interview [originally published on 4 December 2010], Cortese reveals:

  • His tumultuous contract wrangles upon leaving a UK stage show to return to NZ to be in Shortland Street
  • What it is like playing the bad guy
  • His initial feelings about the prospect of being on Dancing with the Stars
  • How he developed his craft hosting So You Think You Can Dance
  • The amusing story of learning about his starring role in Burying Brian
  • How it felt to be part of the West family in Outrageous Fortune
  • Details of his latest work in Brown Bruthas and The Almighty Johnsons

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

actor, outrageous fortune, shortland street

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Shavaughn Ruakere: The leap of faith from TV presenting to acting...

Posted on 16 December 2013

Shavaughn Ruakere began her career as a presenter on kids TV show What Now?. Later she graduated to presenting on music channel C4, after a stint co-presenting UK morning show SM:TV. Since then Ruakere has made the switch to acting, and appeared in a number of shows including The Jaquie Brown Diaries and Legend of the Seeker. She is currently starring in Shortland Street as core cast member Roimata Ngatai. In this ScreenTalk, Ruakere talks about:

  • Being scared by going on live TV for What Now?
  • Not being shy about being a ‘dick’ on a kids show
  • Witnessing two experienced actors ‘ad-libbing’ on the set of River Queen
  • Managing to avoid doing a nude scene in the film
  • How presenting on C4 showed a more mature side of herself
  • Wearing leather and high heels for Legend of the Seeker
  • How her role on Shortland Street pulled her out of a slump
  • The similarities and differences between her and her character Roimata
  • Coping with the time restraints and pace of shooting on the show
  • Loving working with George Henare and the rest of her on-camera family
  • How ‘being someone else’ on set helps her overcome doubt

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

interview, actor, presenter, what now?, shortland street, legend of the seeker, the jaquie brown diaries, river queen, screentalk, shavaughn ruakere

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