Actor Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi grew up in Auckland with his Tongan father and Samoan mother, before breaking into screen acting as a teenager. Whilst still at high school, he cut his teeth with a small part on Jonah Lomu miniseries Jonah, before landing the lead role in another drama inspired by a true story, The Panthers. Playing Will 'Ilolahia — the real life co-founder of the Polynesian Panthers — Schuster-Koloamatangi gained international and local acclaim, earning a Rising Star award at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival and a nomination for Best Actor at the 2022 NZTV Awards.
I can’t really put it into words but just being on set and having so many Polynesians, seeing so many Islanders doing so well in their respective fields, it made me so happy to see. Because when one of us is winning, we’re all winning. Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi on his role in Panthers, Viva magazine, 17 December 2021