Nathaniel Lees is an NZ-born Samoan actor who has acted on both stage and screen. Lees began his screen career with small roles in Death Warmed Up and Other Halves, before joining Billy T James on his sketch comedy shows. Lees went on to appear in a number of TV dramas including Shark in the Park , City Life, Gloss, Shortland Street and Street Legal. His many film roles include Sione’s Wedding, The Lord of the Rings, Rapa Nui and The Matrix trilogy.
Actor Jim Moriarty cut his teeth on the early dramas Pukemanu and Close to Home, then went on to appear in a number of other TV projects such as Inside Straight and City Life. He has starred in films The Strength of Water, No Petrol No Diesel, and played Jesus in Saving Grace. As well as acting, Moriarty has directed in television and theatre, and works with at risk Māori youth.
Thomas Sainsbury is an accomplished playwright, actor and director, who found national fame in 2017 with his Snapchat impressions of MP Paula Bennett.
Internationally successful Kiwi film producer Finola Dwyer began her career as an editor at the National Film Unit and then moved on to editing and producing at TVNZ. Dwyer migrated over to the film industry and worked as an editor and producer. Some of the memorable New Zealand films she worked on include Came a Hot Friday, Starlight Hotel, and The Quiet Earth. In the 90s, Dwyer moved to the UK where she has made a name for herself producing films such as Backbeat, An Education and Dean Spanley.
Marshall Napier has forged a successful acting career playing strong supporting roles in a swathe of Kiwi and Aussie TV dramas and films. His numerous credits include The Governor, Goodbye Pork Pie, Came a Hot Friday, Blue Heelers, Babe, McLeod’s Daughters and Water Rats. He also has a strong pedigree in theatre, and took his own play Freak Winds to New York in 2006.
Actor Greg Johnson began his career as a stand-up comedian. His first acting role was in the film The End of the Golden Weather. Since then, he has appeared in a wide range of TV shows, films and commercials, and is perhaps best known for roles in Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune and Go Girls. He has won two acting awards, for performances in TV series City Life, and 2010 movie The Insatiable Moon.
Michelle Langstone is an actor with many dramatic faces: a murder obsessed woman in For Good, a Norse goddess in The Almighty Johnsons, an unfaithful wife in Go Girls, and a tenacious stirrer in McLeod's Daughters. Langstone has also appeared in a number of international fantasy shows including Xena: Warrior Princess, Legend of the Seeker and Power Rangers.
Producer Larry Parr has had a hand in producing a number of classic New Zealand films, including Sleeping Dogs, Came a Hot Friday and Smash Palace. He has also made forays into directing with Fracture and A Soldier's Tale. After three years as Head of Programming at Māori Television, Parr became Television Manager at Te Māngai Pāho, which funds Māori radio and TV programmes.
She always thought she'd become an actor — but comedy poet Penny Ashton says poetry "chose" her. Ashton has toured her solo shows around the world, and in this Funny As interview she covers a range of topics, including: Being a cabaret act — doing a mix of poetry, songs and comedy — and lamenting that there’s less cabaret around in New Zealand than there used to be Producing Rhys Darby’s first solo show and Paolo Rotondo's play Little Che, and meeting poet Pam Ayres Representing New Zealand on a poetry tour of England, and different styles of slam poetry around the world The time a man yelled out "lose weight" during a performance — and the great response from a woman in the front row that inspired a new poem — plus the “new breed of woke bros coming through” Doing 130 shows in 55 towns across five countries between April 2017 and May 2018, at which point she "couldn’t remember what my husband looked like" How tough performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is, how phenomenally beautiful the city is, and how "f***ing terrible" the weather is
Kura Forrester's comedy star is on the rise after winning the 2019 Billy T James Award.