New Zealand has a proud history of producing actors and actresses that have gone on to be stars of the silver screen. There have been many films over the years that have featured New Zealand born stars in their leading cast, which shows that although the country is small in size, it is in no way lacking in creative talents.
Russell Crowe – Born in Wellington, New Zealand
Known for his roles in blockbuster productions such as Proof, Romper Stomper, Hammers over the Anvil, L.A. Confidential, The Insider, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, and State of Play, Russell Crowe is one of New Zealand’s most famous exports. In addition to winning an Oscar for his role in Gladiator, Crowe is considered by many to be one of the most talented actors working in Hollywood today.
Lucy Lawless – Born in Mount Albert, Auckland, New Zealand
Lucy Lawless’ best known roles include the lead role in Xena: Warrior Princess, as Xena, and Lucretia in the three different series of the hit TV show Spartacus. As well as receiving praise for her TV roles, Lawless is also a well-known name within the music industry with two acclaimed albums to her name.
Sam Neill – Born in Omagh, Northern Ireland to New Zealand parents who were stationed there at the time
Sam Neill has been a part of multiple successful productions over the last 30 years. However, it’s his role as Dr Alan Grant in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park that the actor is probably most famous for.
Anna Paquin – Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and returned to New Zealand with her parents when she was four years old
The second youngest Oscar winner for her film role in The Piano, Anna Paquin is possibly better known for her involvement in X-Men, and the True Blood series. She has been nominated for many awards for her cinema roles and promises to be one of Hollywood’s most loved stars.
Melanie Lynskey – Born in New Plymouth, New Zealand
Best known for her film roles in Coyote Ugly, Sweet Home Alabama, and Two and a Half Men. Melaine Lynskey has been nominated for numerous awards, including a winning nomination for her role as Pauline Parker in Heavenly Creatures.
Karl-Heinz Urban – Born in Wellington, New Zealand
Possibly best recognized for his roles as Eomer in The Lord of the Rings, Vaako in The Chronicles of Riddick, and Kirrill in The Bourne Supremacy. Karl-Heinz Urban is one of New Zealand’s most critically acclaimed actors.
Photography: miket – Fotolia