After graduating from drama school Toi Whakaari in 2014, Jayden Daniels hit the ground running with a recurring role on Shortland Street as Curtis Hannah. The character eventually became a fan favourite, as he journeyed from bad boy to cop. Following time on adventure series The New Legends of Monkey, Daniels co-starred in prime time drama Head High. Daniels played Mana Roberts, one of two brothers striving to make their mark in rugby at a low decile high school. Daniels won Best Supporting Actor at the 2020 NZ TV Awards for the role. Next came roles in horror film Evil Dead Rise, and Whina, a biopic of Dame Whina Cooper.
That was the part of the show I was most nervous about because I know how huge rugby is, especially in this country, and I knew that if I didn't get that right then it kind of undermines my whole character. If people can't buy that aspect, then I can't expect them to buy into the struggles that this dude's going through. Jayden Daniels, on the importance of making the rugby look and feel authentic in TV series Head High, Regional News, 23 June 2020