‘Exciting time to be an actor in NZ’: Call goes out for Māori Bond villain

A leaked casting call for the newest Bond film – Bond 25 – is calling for a male Māori actor.

Daniel Craig appears in Casino Royale.

The call sheet was obtained by fan-site MI6 and calls for a Māori actor between 35 and 55 with advanced stage combat skills who is to play a supporting role as an authoritative, cunning, ruthless and loyal role as a henchman.

The new role follows in the footsteps of Māori actor Lawrence Makoare, who played Mr Kil, a henchmen who went up against Bond in 2002 film Die Another Day, directed by Lee Tamahori.

Toi Whakaari National Drama school director Christian Penny said this was a great opportunity for young talented Māori actors to get their foot in the door.

“There’s so many good Māori actors in New Zealand who’d wipe the floor with this kind of thing and totally make a mark for themselves in that world and internationally,” Mr Penny said.

“I can think of a whole handful of people Temuera Morrison, Chris Curtis, Maaka Pohatu, you know there’s heaps of guys.”

With his experience at the school for nearly two decades, he said he had consistently seen the flow of “high-quality young capable Māori actors in the field who’d compete” for this role.

“Here at Toi we’ve had like lots and lots of young talented Māori who come from a physical basis, that’s where they’ve grown up. They’ve either played sport, they’ve been in kapa haka worlds and they come to Toi, they learn to act and then this is the kind of thing they absolutely want to do.

The fact that Hollywood was looking for variety in actors set a much-anticipated precedent, he said.

“We could feel this coming over a decade ago, Hollywood getting interested in the freshness of our people, and now that’s a marker of that.”

The rise of Kiwi actors on the world stage of films showcased the skills of young talent from New Zealand shores, Mr Penny said.

“The people we’re putting out of New Zealand, the kind of actors we’re putting out and now increasingly into these international big budget settings are so interesting, are so fresh, are so authentic that you know the tide is turning our way. It’s an exciting time to be an actor in New Zealand.”

The casting call also sought a Russian man to play a leading role as the cold and vindictive villain.

Danny Boyle will be directing the film and shooting begins in December this year.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/entertainment/exciting-time-actor-in-nz-call-goes-m-ori-bond-villain

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