Veteran actress Kate Harcourt has had a long and distinguished career in theatre, television and film. Her first television role was as a presenter on the Wellington version of children’s show Junior Magazine. She would later appear in TV dramas such as Country GP, Plain Tastes, and the TV play Loose Enz - Free Enterprise. Harcourt has also acted in a number of feature films including Mr Wrong, Apron Strings and Savage Islands.
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
Jodie Rimmer grew up in a sporty family whose dinner time conversations were more likely to be about the latest rugby or netball news than the finer aspects of television performance or character arc. Fast forward a handful of years and it's Rimmer’s stand-out performances as Donna Chisholm in the David Doherty inspired tele-feature Until Proven Innocent, or as Wendy Snowden (Mrs Peter Cook) in international feature Not Only But Always that might now be the topic of some dinner party conversations.
Scott Wills began his screen career in the early 90s, with appearances in soap Shortland Street and in short films including Ouch, Permanent Wave and The Hole. In 2000, Wills was nominated for two acting awards (one for Ouch and the other for his supporting part in romantic comedy Hopeless) and also starred in feature film Stickmen, a role which earned him the award for Best Actor at the 2001 New Zealand Film Awards. Wills followed Stickmen with a run of television performances, including Interrogation and Doves of War.
David Fane failed comedy at drama school. But since leaving Toi Whakaari, Fane has delighted audiences with his comic performances in Skitz, The Semisis, Tongan Ninja, bro’Town, Sione's Wedding, Outrageous Fortune, Eagle vs Shark and Radiradirah. Fane has also appeared in the drama series The Market and The Strip, and the feature film The Tattooist.
Sam Wills started out performing as a child magician, and in 2016 found himself on the America’s Got Talent stage as Tape Face.
Ginette McDonald has directed cop shows, produced kidult classics and won awards for her dramatic acting. Yet she has long been associated with a single role: Kiwi gal Lynn of Tawa.
Guitar-playing yodellers The Topp Twins have been bringing audiences together for decades. As this Funny As interview demonstrates, Jools and Lynda Topp make for a formidable team. Among other topics, they talk about: Six decades of making each other laugh, starting from when they had to share a bath as children Making yodelling funny How an empty petrol tank and a prison cell launched their career; how busking taught them showmanship Protest, politics, loose elastic bands, and the value of "beautiful mistakes" Winning over an audience of London punks How Lynda got married before gay marriage became legal
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.
After making his screen debut in 1988 on Margaret Mahy TV series Strangers, actor Martin Henderson spent three years on Shortland Street playing Stuart Nielsen, then moved on to Australia and later the United States. Since then he has acted everywhere from India to Sweden, and in everything from horror (The Ring) to musicals (Bride and Prejudice) to TV’s House MD. His work as Cate Blanchett’s disabled brother in drama Little Fish saw him nominated for an Australian Film Institute supporting actor award. Variety magazine called his performance 'a revelation'.