Kiwi actress Keisha Castle-Hughes thinks big for Game of Thrones warrior role
Keisha Castle-Hughes says the Game of Thrones showrunners are "incredible at keeping secrets".
Not much more than a year ago, Keisha Castle-Hughes was a
Game Of Thrones fan scouring Hollywood Boulevard for a long blonde wig to wear to an informal dress-up event to watch the first episode of the new season.
Now she\'s part of it, playing a seasoned warrior, and wondering if she\'ll be back for more hand-to-hand combat in leather.
She is, however, no ordinary fan. She\'s an actress whose career started at the age of 11, with her Oscar-nominated starring role in the New Zealand film Whale Rider. Since then, her CV has included Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith and a supporting part in the Australian hit Red Dog.
Castle-Hughes, who is in Australia for the pop culture convention Oz Comic-Con, was a longtime fan of the books on which the series is based. She read the first three in high school, "which feels like it was forever ago now, but wasn\'t really," she says wryly.
Keisha Castle-Hughes as Obara Sand in Game of Thrones.
When she auditioned, it was a character described as "a fierce, brutish warrior with an Amazonian physique, which I\'m not at all. But there were qualities that I understood within that description that I thought I could embody."
In a way, it connected back to Whale Rider, story of a young Maori girl who had to prove that she could be a tribal chief. "It was just a matter of convincing them that I didn\'t have to be six foot tall."
Castle-Hughes lives between Los Angeles and New Zealand. Her husband, Jonathan Morrison, is a DJ and writer.
She has a daughter, Felicity, who was born when Castle Hughes was 17 and played the role of the Virgin Mary in a film called The Nativity Story.
She has no idea if she\'ll be back in Game Of Thrones. Her character is still alive at the end of Season 5, "which is always a good sign".
She has asked, of course, but showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff "don\'t give up anything. They constantly have actors around them trying to coax them with dinners and great wines and banter to try to get storylines out of them, or any hint of where they\'re going, but they\'re incredible at keeping secrets."
She recently did an hour-long pilot for Roadies, a TV series written and directed by Cameron Crowe.
Keisha Castle-Hughes in her breakout role in Whale Rider.
Her character is a sound engineer, "one of a group of roadies on the road forever, looking after a big American band". It also stars Christina Hendricks, Luke Wilson and Imogen Poots.
It\'s good to go from the fantasy past of Game Of Thrones to the contemporary world of Roadies, she says, and to be cast in a role that wouldn\'t necessarily go to a woman, "especially someone as young as me".
And, although she relishes a career in a business "which is ever-changing, and every job feels like you\'re starting from the beginning", she\'s decided that she needs another creative outlet.
TV One set to pull plug on Wimbledon at 6am, regardless of state of play
TPP fast-track bill signed into law by Barack Obama
Greek Finance Minister confirms IMF payment to go unpaid
Antony de Malmanche sentenced to 15 years\' prison on drug charge
Dog owner fuming after police kill pet in Wainuiomata raid
Indonesian military transport plane crashes in city of Medan, 45 killed
Cancer claims father of murdered Ashburton teen Kirsty Bentley
Greek crisis and China worries expose New Zealand\'s economic vulnerability
Christchurch police suffer head injuries in assault
Hollywood sets eyes on Twitter joker Mark Leggett
Club considers closing historic Tararua hut after vandals tramp in to trash it