Two of Temuera Morrison’s most noteworthy career milestones have truly come from opposite ends of the galaxy. 1994’s Once Were Warriors was a painfully truthful examination of urban Maori life that continues to cast a long shadow across New Zealand film and culture. And his first Star Wars appearance in 2002 sparked a unique character arc that will place him at the centre of his own Disney+ series in 2021, as Boba Fett.
Always a multi-faceted entertainer, Temuera has long been something of a national cultural icon. Not only as one of New Zealand’s foremost actors, with his international film and television career, but as a leading proponent of Maori culture and performance. Born in Rotorua, of Te Arawa and Ngati Maniapoto Ngati Rarua descent, Temuera’s membership of a famous entertainment family ensured an early interest in performance art. At age 11 he had his first film part - the title character in children’s film Rangi’s Catch. A performance art training course in his teens cemented the acting passion, leading to his first high profile role, playing Dr Ropata for three years in Shortland Street, New Zealand’s enduring medical soap (to which he returned many years later for the 4,000th episode).More