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Wairarapa son up for acting award

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

A former Rathkeale College student is up against Golden Globe-nominated actor Sam Neill in the New Zealand Film Awards category for Best Supporting Actor.

Kieran Charnock, who grew up in Carterton, is one of five actors vying for the award.

Now based in Wellington, Charnock, 25, poured his heart and soul into his character William for the 2016 feature length film, The Rehearsal.

It was his first “proper” role in a film, and it was full of challenges for the ambitious actor and filmmaker.

The Rehearsal is based on the 2008 novel by New Zealand author Eleanor Catton and follows the journey of first-year drama student Stanley, played by Boy actor James Rolleston.

Stanley wants to impress his tutor, and when he discovers a sex scandal in his girlfriend’s family he’s tempted to use it as material for the year-end show.

Charnock’s character William is a fellow classmate and flatmate of Stanley’s.

“It was challenging I guess because the character I was playing was struggling with some inner turmoil – depression,” Charnock said.

“He was depressed and actually ends up dying in the film.”

Charnock said he tried to channel the character as much as he could for the role, not just on set, but outside filming hours too.

“I was spending a lot of nights alone,” Charnock said.

“I’d just go to the park and sit there alone and look out at the city.

“It actually brought my depression back – because I had depression a few years back before that and it brought it back fully.

“It was interesting and quite challenging.”

Charnock auditioned for the role three times, and filming began in 2015. The film was released last year.

The nominees for the Best Supporting Actor award are Jordan Vaahakolo (Born To Dance), Ben Mitchell (Broken Hallelujah), Sam Neill (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), Kieran Charnock (The Rehearsal), and Edwin Wright (Turbo Kid).

The awards will be held on February 18 at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland.

Charnock spent parts of last year filming upcoming New Zealand film Stranger in which he plays the lead role, and has also been busy making his own film with fellow Rathkeale old boy Jonathan Watt.

The pair have also been seeking funding for a Masterton-based television series — a comedic documentary on a rural UFO group.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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