In 2008 Morgana O’Reilly managed to juggle multiple acting roles in Toa Fraser’s one woman play Bare, and TV sketch show A Thousand Apologies. She went on to star as the housebound hero in two very different projects: true story TV movie Safe House (2012), and acclaimed horror comedy Housebound (2014). That same year, she joined the cast of Neighbours, as vixen Naomi Canning. Since then O'Reilly has worked on both sides of the Tasman — including appearances on Wentworth and Wanted, and starring as a mum trying her best to impress at her son's school, in Kiwi sitcom Mean Mums

I've known I wanted to be an actor since I was 15, when I realised all my other dream occupations were just acting up to get a reaction. At one stage I told everyone that I wanted to be a gypsy, live in a gypsy fair and sell scented candles. Morgana O'Reilly in The NZ Herald, 5 October 2008


2019, As: Michelle - Film

Mean Mums

2019, As: Jess - Television

The Sounds

2019, As: Hannah McGregor - Television

Mean Mums (Comedy Pilot Week)

2018, As: Jess - Television

Cheeky First Dates

2017, As: Teresa/Grape - Web


2017, As: Amy - Television

This is Littleton

2014, Writer, As: Various Characters


2014, As: Kylie Bucknell - Film

Described as “bloody brilliant” by horror legend Peter Jackson, Housebound follows a woman dealing with the triple threats of house arrest, potential ghosts, and having to live with her mother. Morgana O’Reilly (TV movie Safe House) is the criminal facing eight months home detention with an annoying Mum (Rima Te Wiata). Jaquie Brown Diaries director Gerard Johnstone’s film debut won near universal praise, and the remake rights sold to New Line in the US. Fangoria loved its mixture of "fantastic comedy" and mystery and it was nominated for ten Moas, including Best Film. 

Sunny Skies

2013, As: Nicki - Television

Little City

2013, As: Various Characters

The Act Off

2013, As: The Dancer - Short Film


2019, As: Narelle Stang - Television

We Feel Fine

2012, As: Kelly - Film

Safe House

2012, As: Carole Taylor - Television

Ten Thousand Days

2012, As: Arabella - Short Film


2011, As: Lynn Matthews - Television

Directed by Peter Burger (Until Proven Innocent), this top-rating tele-feature dramatised the life story of legendary comedian Billy T James. Billy screened on 21 August 2011 as a Sunday Theatre drama on TV One, 20 years after Billy T’s death, aged just 42. Actor Tainui Tukiwaho (Step Dave) plays Billy T. Touted as revealing "the man behind the chuckle", the drama traverses Billy T’s life from childhood. This excerpt follows Billy as he reaches the peak of his career, fronting TV skits and pub stand-up.  It was adapted by Briar Grace Smith and Dave Armstrong from the Matt Elliott biography.

Nothing Trivial

2011, As: Alison - Television

Nothing Trivial was a dramedy that kept score on the lives and loves of five friends in a pub quiz team called Sex on a Stick. The cast of City Lifers shifted to the suburbs and nearing middle age was led by Shane Cortese, Tandi Wright, Nicole Whippy, Debbie Newby-Ward and Blair Strang. Created by Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan, (the veteran writers behind Go Girls, Maddigan’s Quest, and Mercy Peak) the popular South Pacific Pictures production screened for three seasons on TV ONE. A fan-driven campaign saw NZ On Air fund a tele-movie to wrap up the series.

Dr Grordbort Presents: The Deadliest Game

2011, As: Millicent Middlesworth - Short Film

Armed with his trusty ray gun and protected by his pith helmet Lord Broadforce's exotic species search on an alien planet is going swimmingly — until the dame gets colonial angst. The short is based on the sci-fi world of Dr Grordbort created by Weta Workshop's Greg Broadmore (designer on District 9), in which Victorian steampunk meets alien trophy hunting. The live action-CGI film was created over 22 weeks by 11 students of the Media Design School's 3D animation programme, under the direction of James Cunningham. Broadmore followed with a Grordbort video game in 2018.

Super City

2011, As: Tasha - Television

Creating and playing all of the main characters in Super City made for a "physically exhausting" experience for Madeleine Sami. But the hard yakka paid off, with the first season winning Sami a best actress gong and rave reviews. The show weaved the storylines of very different Aucklanders (five in season one, and four new characters in season two): including a ditzy Indian cheerleader, an Iranian male taxi driver obsessed with Māori culture, and a homeless woman. Taika Waititi (Boy) directed the first series; Oscar Kightley (Sione's Wedding) took over for season two.

Piece of My Heart

2009, As: June Watt - Television

A Thousand Apologies

2008, As: Various roles - Television

A Thousand Apologies takes joy in lampooning everyday racism. The show was the brainchild of the Thousand Apologies Collective, a group of Auckland based Asian/Kiwi filmmakers which included directors Roseanne Liang,  Shuchi Kothari and Serina Pearson. The six episodes have a classic sketch show format — with sight gags and song parodies, in-between longer character based sketches. Its broader aim is to show Asian/Kiwis as three dimensional-people, rather than the stereotyped roles so often assigned to them on television.

The Jaquie Brown Diaries

2008 - 2009, As: Alternative girl - Television

TV personality Jaquie Brown plays (and plays up) herself for delightful comic effect in this hit TV3 satire. Former Campbell Live reporter Brown plays an egomaniacal journalist looking to climb the media ladder any which way she can. Auckland's aspirational set: a cast of Metro social page alumni and wannabes, are skewered with self-referential glee. The second series was retitled for DVD release as The Jaquie Brown Odyssey; both series won acclaim and Best Comedy gongs at the Qantas Film and TV Awards. The Listener gushed: "A local sitcom that doesn't suck."  

Bob Davis Superhero

2006, As: Glenda - Short Film

The Crumpet Thief

2006, The Thief - Short Film

Ben and Olivia: The Search for Truth

2002, Actor - Television

In the early hours of 1 January 1998 Ben Smart and Olivia Hope, two young partygoers in the Marlborough Sounds, were in a water taxi looking for a place to crash. They vanished and were never seen again. The investigation transfixed the nation, and led to the conviction of Scott Watson for murder. Directed for TV3 by John Keir (Flight 901: The  Erebus Disaster), this 2002 documentary revisits the case from the perspective of two fathers — Gerald Hope and Chris Watson — and brings them together for the first time to talk about whether Scott Watson is guilty.


2014 - 2015, As: Naomi Canning - Television