Emily Barclay went up for her first screen award at 16. But the attention (and awards) really began after she co-starred in 2004 's In My Father's Den. Then came Australian TV movie The Silence, and a star turn as manipulative teen in Suburban Mayhem. These days a rising name in Australian theatre, Barclay continues to balance screen roles on both sides of the Tasman (including Kiwi adoption drama Piece of My Heart).

I think she's terrific. Australian film critic Margaret Pomeranz, on Emily Barclay's In My Father's Den performance

Funny Girls - NZ Suffragette Special

2018, As: Kate Sheppard - Television

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shows off her comedy prowess in this Funny Girls special, celebrating 125 years of Kiwi women attaining the right to vote. Ardern corrects the blatant lies of "Pauline the producer" (Jackie van Beek), and puts up with Pauline kissing her. This episode is a who's who of female Kiwi comedians, featuring (for the first time) live stand-up alongside the sketches — including Justine Smith and Billy T winners Melanie Bracewell and Angella Dravid. The Suffragette Special followed series three. 

The Light Between Oceans

2016, As: Gwen Potts - Film


2015, As: Sarah Hayes - Television

Please Like Me

2013 - 2015, As: Ella - Television


2011, As: Claire - Film

Love Birds

2011, As: Brenda - Film

Director Paul Murphy follows Second Hand Wedding with a romance featuring comedian Rhys Darby, songs by Queen and ... a duck. Darby plays heartbroken nice guy Doug: after a close encounter with a native duck (a paradise shelduck) with emotional problems, he enlists expert help from a sassy animal specialist (played by Brit Sally Hawkins, a Golden Globe-winner for feature Happy-Go-Lucky). True to rom-com form, love ensues ... eventually. NZ Herald reviewer Russell Baillie called Love Birds “an endearingly funny, if sugar-coated local romantic comedy”.


2010, As: Girl - Short Film

Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga'Hoole

2010, As: Gylfie - Film


2010, As: Rhia - Film

Prime Mover

2009, As: Melissa - Film

Piece of My Heart

2009, As: Young Flora - Television

We the Living

2006, As: Freya - Short Film

The Silence

2006, As: Evelyn Hutchison - Television


2005, As: Jane - Short Film


2005, As: Maddy


2004, As: Katie McCarthy

In My Father's Den

2004, As: Celia Steimer - Film

When his father dies, Paul (Matthew Macfayden), a world-weary war journalist, returns to his Central Otago hometown. He strikes up an unlikely friendship with a teenage girl (Emily Barclay). Their relationship is frowned upon and when she disappears, the community holds him responsible. The events that follow force Paul to confront a tragic incident he fled as a youth, and face dark secrets. Critically-acclaimed, In My Father's Den marked the debut of a formidable fledgling talent: it was the only feature from writer-director Brad McGann, who died of cancer in 2007.

Terror Peak

2003, As: Melanie Fraser - Television

Mercy Peak

2001, As: Hayley Borden - Television

With its mix of quirky characters, lush scenery, and medical drama, Mercy Peak proved to be a winning formula. Produced by John Laing for South Pacific Pictures, and starring a host of NZ acting talent (Tim Balme, Jeffrey Thomas, Renato Bartolomei, et al), Mercy Peak follows the highs and lows of Dr Nicky Somerville (Sara Wiseman), who leaves the big city after discovering her partner’s infidelity. Taking up her new role at the hospital in the tiny town of Bassett, Nicky soon learns that life is full of complexities no matter the population.

No One Can Hear You

2001, As: Amy Burchall - Film

Spin Doctors

2003, As: Tiffany - Television

Set in a high flying PR firm, Spin Doctors was a topical, fast turnaround satire — in the tradition of John Clarke’s The Games. No client is too grasping, no issue too unsavoury for Giles Peterson and Associates, and a team including a ruthless Australian (Mark Ferguson), a boozy trout (Elizabeth Hawthorne) and the office liberal unsuccessfully battling his conscience (John Leigh). Each episode was written and produced in just five days — allowing the writers (including James Griffin, Roger Hall and Tom Scott) full license with the week’s issues.

William Shatner's A Twist in the Tale

1998, As: Alison Bradley - Television

A Twist in the Tale was one of a series of kidult shows launched by The Tribe creator Raymond Thompson, after he relocated to New Zealand. The anthology series spins from a storyteller (Star Trek's William Shatner) introducing a story (often fantastical) to a group of children, some of whom appear in the tales. The show featured early appearances by many young Kiwi thespians, including Antonia Prebble, Chelsie Preston Crayford, Dwayne Cameron and Michelle Ang. Although the writing team were British, some of the directors and most of the crew were New Zealanders.


1995, Actor - Television

Shortland Street

1998, As: Kelly McKinley - Television

Shortland Street is a fast-paced serial drama set in an inner city Auckland hospital. The long-running South Pacific Pictures production is based around the births, deaths and marriages of the hospital's staff and patients. It screens on TVNZ’s TV2 network five days a week. In 2017 the show was set to celebrate its 25th anniversary, making it New Zealand’s longest running drama by far. Characters and lines from the show have entered the culture — starting with “you’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata!” in the very first episode. Mihi Murray writes about Shortland Street here.