Erik Thomson wins at 2016 Logie Awards

Taken from ScreeNZ.

At Sunday evening’s Logie bash in Australia, Erik Thomson won the Best Actor award for his work on 800 Words.

It was the show’s only win from its nominations, missing out on Best Drama Programme, Most Outstanding Drama Series, and Best New Talent (Benson Jack Anthony – pictured, top, on right).

Also nominated for Logies but missing out were Kiwi actors Emily Barclay and Sam Neill. Barclay was up for Most Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work on Glitch, Neill for Most Outstanding Actor for House of Hancock.

Read the full article here.

Amanda Billing talks to NZ On Screen about her time on Shortland Street

Taken from NZ On Screen.

Amanda Billing played the "neurotic, belligerent but deeply sensitive" Doctor Sarah Potts on Shortland Street for 10 years. Billing felt devastated when the beloved character died on the soap, but it gave her the impetus to pursue other work. She has gone on to act in acclaimed comedy Find Me a Māori Bride and sci-fi children’s drama The Cul de Sac.

In this ScreenTalk, Billing talks about:

    Feeling out of her depth in her early days on Shortland Street
    How her own emotions helped her flesh out the role of Sarah Potts
    Taking a while to adjust to her character getting MS
    Feeling bereft after leaving the show
    Loving working with her co-stars in Find Me a Māori Bride
    Finding the schedule of DNA Detectives gruelling
    Uncovering a family scandal while doing the show
    Getting used to the reality of being a freelance actor

Watch the video here.

Antony Starr talks to Chris Schulz about his new role

Taken from NZ Herald, by Chris Schulz.

Antony Starr says his next role on American TV screens won't take as much of a physical toll on him - and he's fine with that.

The Outrageous Fortune star is coming to the end of his run on Banshee, the violent Cinemax show that screens on Soho in New Zealand.

After four seasons in the grueling role, Starr says it's time for a change - and that's what he's getting with American Gothic.

"Banshee's been a great introduction (to America)," says Starr, who plays Lucas Hood, a criminal posing as a sheriff in a crooked Pennsylvanian town, on the ultra-violent show. "I'd come from doing a show in Australia that shall remain nameless and that was awful. I got picked out of that and stuck into a lead role on an American show (and) as far as I'm concerned it's been fantastic. It's been a hell of a ride. I've learned a lot, and I'm ready to take the next step."

Read the full article here.

Antony Starr cast in CBS drama ‘American Gothic’

Taken from Deadline, by Denise Petski.

Banshee’s Antony Starr has booked a major role opposite Justin Chatwin and Megan Ketch in American Gothic, CBS’ upcoming murder mystery summer drama series from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and CBS Television Studios.

Created by Corinne Brinkerhoff, American Gothic centers on a prominent Boston family that is attempting to redefine itself in the wake of a chilling discovery that links their recently deceased patriarch to a string of murders spanning decades — amid the mounting suspicion that one of them may have been his accomplice.

Read the full article here.

Lucy Lawless talks to Radio NZ about Ash vs Evil Dead

Taken from Radio NZ.

The Evil Dead was a 1981 movie which spawned a cult trilogy.

The new version is Ash vs Evil Dead, a TV series filmed in New Zealand and starring Kiwi actor Lucy Lawless alongside the original cast member Bruce Campbell who plays Ash  - the chainsaw handed monster hunter.

Lucy Lawless is Ruby, who blames Ash for the deaths of her family members and has vowed to kill him.

Lucy talks to Wallace about fake gore and real life crime.

Listen to the podcast here.

WatchMe: Kiwi comedy goes online

Taken from NZ Herald.

A new video-on-demand platform will launch today, showcasing original Kiwi comedy, including Leigh Hart's cult comedy series Late Night Big Breakfast.

Commissioned by Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells, WatchMe will feature several short-form comedy series, available to view on demand, free of charge.

Each series is made up of between six to eight short-form episodes, specifically designed to cater for a digital audience.

"It's all about removing the padding," explains Heath. "When you make a commercial half hour for TV, it's 22 minutes cut roughly into three seven-minute bits, divided by ad breaks. We don't have ad breaks, so we are just making the seven-minute bits. If people want to watch 22 minutes they can watch three shows in a row."

Read the full article here.

Auckward Love: The Web Series

When Alice is left broken hearted by her long term boy friend, her 3 best friends step in to get her back into the dating scene... whether she wants them to or not...

Auckward Love is a funny, sexy and almost romantic web series created by actress Holly Shervey, and written by actress/writer Jess Sayer and actor/director Emmett Skilton.

The episodes follow Alice (Holly Shervey) and her three unlikely best friends Vicky (Luci Hare), Grace (Jess Holly Bates), and Zoe (Jess Sayer), as they force her back on the road to find love… whether she wants them to or not.

Auckward Love shines a light on what it’s like to be a single 20-something female in today’s dating game, complete with the trials and tribulations, the fun times and hard, and of course the highs, and the ridiculously ridiculous lows.

Watch the series online here.

TV Pick: 800 Words

Taken from NZ Herald, TimeOut.

Australia's Channel Seven has a pretty good track record when it comes to creating well-balanced, heartfelt family drama that strikes a chord with audiences: Always Greener, Packed to the Rafters, Winners and Losers, and A Place To Call Home have grabbed attention on both sides of the Tasman.

Where 800 Words is different, is that it's actually created and written by James Griffin (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons), and filmed in New Zealand, with a lot of Kiwis in the cast. And in that indefinable sort of way, it has a different edge - a sense of humour, idiosyncratic characters, and scenery that can only be found on the west coast of Auckland.

New Zealand-raised Aussie actor Erik Thomson stars as George Turner, a Sydney columnist whose world is turned on its head when his wife dies suddenly, leaving him and their two teenage children Shay and Arlo (newcomers Melina Vidler and Benson Jack Anthony), heartbroken and adrift.

Read the full article here.

Ash Vs. Evil Dead grabs early Season 2 renewal from Starz

Taken from Variety, by Cynthia Littleton.

Starz has given The Evil Dead fans an early Halloween treat by confirming that Ash Vs. Evil Dead has been renewed for a second season, four days prior to its premiere.

The series has generated strong buzz among horror fans as Starz has stoked anticipation for its return for months with well-placed screenings and online ballyhoo. The drama, exec produced by Evil Dead masterminds Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, bows Saturday, Halloween night, on the premium cabler. Craig DiGregorio is showrunner.

Bruce Campbell reprises his role from the 1981 movie, playing an aging lothario who wields a chainsaw hand in his hunt for evil-minded monsters. Lucy Lawless also stars. The movie spawned a 1987 sequel and numerous videogame spinoffs.

Read the full article here.

Away From Keyboard: Survival of the fittest

Taken from

It's not surprising to hear that AFK director Peter Haynes was once addicted to gaming.

"I used to be pretty hardcore into a game called World of Warcraft," Haynes relates. "I was pretty addicted to it, it was pretty addictive as a game, so I can relate to one of the characters who's going through that as well, and I think a lot of the viewers will also be able to relate to it."

AFK, an abbreviation of Away From Keyboard, is a webseries sparked by Haynes' own obsession with online gaming and delves into the rarely-explored world of the gamer.

Haynes realised the disconnect between the fantastic online world and reality and wondered how a gamer would actually survive if thrown into the artificially-created world which consumed so much of their time.

"What always struck me as odd, was how you can be involved in this world for so much of your day and so much of your life, doing all of these skills, like leather crafting and blacksmithing and sword fighting and archery, all of these things, yet if you were actually dropped into this environment for real, you'd probably flounder, possibly even die," he says. "You don't have any of those skills practically, only virtually. It struck me as an interesting sort of parallel between that and the real world, the 'how would you survive in your favourite game' kind of question."

Read the full article here.
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