I don't think we have a separate thread for this, I could only find our lively conversation about it in this thread anyway (starting around page 33/34). It seems Bret's mum finally got to see his work as Edwin.
Bret McKenzie’s Road To Oscar Glory Kick-Started In RotoruaSource
New Zealand Oscar winner Bret McKenzie landed one of his first acting roles in Rotorua, where he starred in a short film that still screens daily at the city’s museum.
Bret McKenzie’s Road To Oscar Glory Kick-Started In Rotorua
ROTORUA, Friday 2nd March 2012: New Zealand Oscar winner Bret McKenzie landed one of his first acting roles in Rotorua, where he starred in a short film that still screens daily at the city’s museum.
McKenzie is the most recent in a growing list of Hollywood names produced by Rotorua. He recently won an Oscar for Best Original Song at the 84th Annual Academy Awards for writing Man or Muppet for the Muppets movie.
But it was 14 years ago when he was given an acting break in Rotorua Stories – an 18 minute-long movie that charts the city’s major historical turning points, including the 1886 Tarawera Eruption.
Destination Rotorua Marketing general manager Oscar Nathan, says McKenzie auditioned and won the part of tourist Edwin Bainbridge who died trying to escape the Te Wairoa Hotel during the eruption.
“Bret’s mum, Diedre Tarrant, came into the Rotorua Museum only a month ago,” Nathan says. “She had never seen the movie before and she loved it. So if you’re a Bret McKenzie fan,
it’s definitely worth checking out to see where his acting career first began.”
Rotorua Stories was made by Wellington producer Story Inc. and features legendary local actor Temuera Morrison who has also made a big name for himself in Hollywood.
“If you want to go to Hollywood, come to Rotorua first,” Nathan says. “Cliff Curtis is another Rotorua local who is now an international hit. I think it’s pretty clear we don’t create muppets in Rotorua
– we create Hollywood stars!”
Nathan says the city is a great launching pad for international success and offers actors countless opportunities through the arts, music, film, kapa haka and other performances.
“Rotorua is the thriving heartland of New Zealand’s arts and culture – as well as being a fantastic place to live. We know Hollywood and Hollywood knows us.
We have a positive working relationship with Hollywood and host a lot of celebrities in our luxury lodges and world-renowned spas,” Nathan says.