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Simone Kessell

Actor [Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Te Rangi, Pākehā]

Simone Kessell debuted as part-Māori teen Hannah Tumai in 1992 soap Homeward Bound. After time in the lands of Hercules and Xena, the Aucklander's next big role was as a TV journalist on Cover Story. Later came hit movie Stickmen, and a starring role in colonial-era series Greenstone, as a missionary-educated Māori woman. Kessell has since worked largely in the United States (San Andreas, TV's Of Kings and Prophets) and Australia (biker film Outlaws). In 2022 she featured in high-profile productions at each end of the globe: Urewera raids movie Muru, and miniseries Obi-Wan Kenobi. Season two of hit show Yellowjackets followed.   

...Chris [Bailey] and I went into a room with a video camera. We were in there for about two hours — we just worked it and worked it — and I knew I’d got it when I made Chris cry. Simone Kessell, on the final audition for her starring role in 1999 TV series Greenstone