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Hero image for Grant Tilly: A long career on screen and stage...

Grant Tilly: A long career on screen and stage...

Interview – 2010

Actor, acting teacher, and artist the late Grant Tilly played cow cockies, assassins, missionaries, and German villains in funny hats. And that’s not even counting his long-running stage career, which included a run of classic Kiwi plays, one of which became acclaimed movie Middle Age Spread.

In this ScreenTalk, Tilly talks about:

  • How people sometimes still recognise him from 60s TV show Joe’s World, and the topics he was told never to mention on early series In View of the Circumstances
  • Acting in 70s mega production The Governor, and the challenges of competing on screen against his bad haircut
  • Being allowed to go solo by director John Reid while making two farmers and a dead Dad comedy Carry Me Back, for a memorable scene in which his character finally tells his father what he really thinks of him
  • Squaring off against Men in Black star Tommy Lee Jones for a fight scene in movie epic Savage Islands
  • How his career as an actor, stage designer, and co-founder of Wellington’s Circa Theatre has intersected with the works of writer Roger Hall - including his acclaimed performance as a philandering headmaster in Middle Age Spread
  • Playing a repressed accountant who becomes obsessively interested in a masseuse in movie Skin Deep
  • The challenges of portraying real life people on screen
  • The similarities between war and movie-making
This video was first uploaded on 29 March 2010, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview - Ian Pryor. Camera and Editing - Alex Backhouse