Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Zealand actors

(I have still lost all ability to insert photos into this blog because the little picture icon doesnt seem to be getting me where I want to go, darn it.  So, we'll have to wait until I can rope in someone with a little bit of computer knowledge - are you reading this, A.J.? - to help me)

When I was a teen, I used to be jealous of Australian actors and presenters who made it big in America.  Why couldn't NZ actors make it too?   Since then, well, Anna Paquin has got there, of course.  So has Phil Keoghan (can't spell his surname?) host of the  'The Amazing Race' .  Martin Henderson practically made it.  Russell Crowe and Keith Urban are NZ-born.  Karl Urban  is a star ("Judge Dredd", and "Star Trek"  reboot).   Oh, and not to forget Grant Bowler (host of "The Amazing Race Australia" and narrator of "Border Patrol Australia".   He was in "Ugly Betty", "True Blood", and pops up in quite a few American tv shows.  Bowler also portrayed the late actor Richard Burton to Lohan's Liz Taylor (yick!).   There's Andrew Adamson (director "Shrek" and "Narnia"), and Richard O'Brien creator/actor/singer of the Rocky Horror/picture Show who now has a statue of himself in Hamilton,  in his RiffRaf costume.  James Cameron has just become a New Zealand citizen.  Sam Neill was in "Jurassic Park and the recent tv series that just got cancelled in the States, "Alcatraz".

Hopefully Antony Starr will be our next big name to make it in the American tv world.  He's in 'Banshee", produced by Alan Ball who brought us "Six Feet Under" and "True Blood" (starring Anna Paquin and guest app;earances by Grant Bowler - so Ball must like kiwi actors, yes?)

I adore Antony Starr.  Now, I never used to be a person to watch NZ programmes.  It's called "cultural cringe" and Americans have probably never heard the term.  But for years and years and years, I was embarrased by the way kiwis acted on t.v, so I stubbornly wouldn't watch anything NZ made.   I looked on the acting as amateur, the writing as pathetic, (why do kiwi writers fill the screen with naughty words - plus rampant sex?),  the sets absymal, and it was all a waste of time.   Only later on did I discover that what I figured was bad acting was really an all-out NZ way of acting;  it wasn't  bad acting, just different acting.

But then I watched "Outrageous Fortune".  A series about a crooked family trying to go straight.  Everyone talked about the series so much that I got the DVD out from the library.  I was hooked!!!  Absolutely.  Positively.    The cast were magnificent, the scripts fantastic, the setting was pure kiwi.  Heck, I didn't even mind the swear words or the sex because it was all such a big happy romp.

Antony Starr was my favourite.  I think every kiwi woman wanted him desperately!   He played twin brothers in "Outrageous Fortune", one was the good son, a lawyer whereas the other son was a small-time  happy-go-lucky thief who couldn't keep his pants done up.    "Outrageous Fortune"  premise was bought by America and redone, but the series flopped over there.  Of course it would flop, it's pure kiwi.

Incidentally, the above-mentioned Grant Bowler was "Wolfgang West" on "Outrageous Fortune", a crook and ex-con father.  What a bad boy!

Can't wait for "Banshee"  to hit our shores.  Hope it's successful.  But, honestly, I don't think Antony Starr could ever have better characters to play then the twin  brothers he played on "Outrageous Fortune".  Good luck to him.

No comments:

Post a Comment