NZ On Screen's celebrity summer spotlights
In his five picks from NZ On Screen, the website that celebrates NZ TV and film, Nothing Trivial star and irrepressible stage performer Shane Cortese gets excited by heroes, Indians, Rikki Morris, and a wartime film about being home by Christmas.
This is a show I am immensely proud to be a part of. For some reason we fell in love with the bunch of criminals. However bad they were perceived to be, they never killed anyone or stole from the needy (in fact their biggest heist was drug money from a motorbike gang!!). They were petty thieves, yes, but their whole MO was based around the heart of the family, both close and extended. It set a new benchmark for television and set Antonia and Anthony on their way to major work.
The World's Fastest Indian
I loved this movie!! It was warm, heartfelt and attracted an awesome lead actor to our shores who, from what my colleagues who worked on the film have said, was an utter delight and a gentleman. I loved seeing Annie work closely with him, and my favourite scene was when Craig Hall and his gang chased Burt down the highway as he was leaving New Zealand to give him a couple of dollars for a few beers and a bikie escort. Loved it and love how well my old dressing room mate (Hall) is doing in Australia.
Home By Christmas
I loved Gaylene Preston's film. I thought her and Tony Barry must have been sipping from the same cup from day one. This really goes to show that great New Zealand stories are out there, and with courage and intent we can get them made. I'm also a big Martin Henderson fan and thought he was fantastic as the young Ed. I'm really looking forward to seeing Gaylene's Christchurch influenced series in 2014.
I have just been playing Billy Flynn on-stage in Chicago. I'm working with theatre god Michael Hurst. He is an incredible director for both screen and stage (having worked with him on The Almighty Johnsons). He is the most positive, exciting, fun director I have worked the stage with, and I hope to do it again. Chicago's musical director John Gibson is also in this little piece. John is a maestro. When we first met to talk about Chicago, Michael, John, Shona (McCullagh - the choreographer) all talked of our want to step away from the regular known Bob Fosse version and present a different angle. With undoubtedly the most talented cast I have ever been involved with, we accomplished this.
Rikki's version of the song first connected with me back in the 1980s. I think he has an incredible voice, and is a special songwriter. I loved it when the version was used in an episode of Outrageous Fortune, when Aaron Spillar serenaded Pascalle. It gave me huge pleasure when, 23 years ago, Mark Dennison (Musical Director of NZ's Got Talent) put on a large concert in Rotorua celebrating the best of New Zealand music through the decades. We asked Rikki to perform Nobody Else live and arranged it for brass and strings. It was absolutely perfect, as is he.