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Kelly Johnson


Kelly Johnson had already done four years of stage acting before winning gold with one of his earliest screen roles: in 1981 he played larrikin car thief Gerry Austin in Goodbye Pork Pie, the first certifiable Kiwi movie blockbuster. Further roles quickly followed. He co-starred as a farmer hitting the city in black comedy Carry Me Back, and reunited with Pork Pie creator Geoff Murphy for colonial epic Utu. There were further vehicular hijinks in short films Queen Street and Pheno Was Here. After time teaching in Japan, Johnson became a lawyer and mediator. He also co-wrote short film Sink or Swim, and has guested on Shortland Street.

...I'm proud and pleased that I did what I did, and I wouldn't change it for anything. I had a unique experience, in that it was a pioneering time in filmmaking. The camera crews were small, everyone got to know each other, and you could really feel like you were a part of the creative process. Kelly Johnson on his acting career, in his ScreenTalk interview for NZ On Screen, June 2014