Hanelle Harris is the creator and one of the stars of web series Baby Mama’s Club, which brings Māori and Pasifika solo mothers into the spotlight. Hanelle discusses several topics during her Funny As interview, including: Enjoying playing the villains in plays from a young age, because they always had a lot of “comedy and sarcasm” How she believed getting pregnant at 18 meant that she couldn't have a successful acting career Deciding to write for the screen, because there were no stories that she wanted to direct Creating Baby Mama’s Club to empower young mothers to “make something of their lives”, and create positive representations of Māori and Pasifika women Teaming up with the cast of Flat3 to create a rap battle — Girl Fight — to tackle the issue of racism Reflecting on the problems of past comedy, and how modern audiences can take offense to anything
Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story author Helene Wong grew up in 1950s Aotearoa, and has worked in the arts as a performer, writer, and film critic. She discusses her varied career in this Funny As interview, including: Growing up with radio comedy, being the class clown at school, and realising that you could make people laugh with voices and accents The university capping review being a revelation and a liberation — presenting an opportunity to deal with issues and being more than just "prancing about on the stage" How the introduction of television meant being able to see politicians — "their physicality, their flaws and their body language" – providing wonderful source material for satirists Working with Roger Hall, John Clarke, Dave Smith and Catherine Downes on university revue One in Five, and mimicking three-screen promotional film This is New Zealand to open the show Working for Prime Minister Robert Muldoon in the 70s as a social policy advisor – despite spending “the previous few years having a lot of fun satirising him”– and feeling that he had a "kind of dark force field around him" Reaching a turning point in comedy about Asians in New Zealand; Asians have started to "take back the power" and "as opposed to encouraging audiences to laugh at us, we’re now getting them to laugh with us"
Kura Forrester's comedy star is on the rise after winning the 2019 Billy T James Award.
Donogh Rees is an accomplished actress in theatre and on screen. Her feature film debut was playing the lead role in Constance. She won a Film and TV award for her portrayal of a woman with a head injury in the film Crush, and in 2012 was seen playing Lady Capulet in an unorthodox film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Her most well known television role was playing Nurse Judy Brownlee in Shortland Street, but she has been in a number of TV shows such as Marlin Bay, Xena and the mini-series Fallout.
Jamaine Ross, James Roque and Pax Assadi make up sketch comedy trio Frickin Dangerous Bro. Each are established solo stand-up comedians, but they have performed together for years (and created TV series Only In Aotearoa).
Gordon Dryden has had a long and distinguished career in journalism, public relations and broadcasting. He became a familiar face on New Zealand television in the 1970s, fronting sports and then current affairs programming. Dryden made a name for himself as a tough interviewer on The Friday Conference, and as a talk radio host. In recent years, Dryden has developed education books both in print and online.
Chinese-Kiwi writer/director Roseanne Liang has proven her mettle across many genres.