This young Aussie NIDA grad­u­ate has al­ready acted with one of his heroes and had a weird taste of the big time in LA, writes Zoe Nau­man.

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - CELEBRITY -

HE grad­u­ated from NIDA less than two years ago but al­ready Remy Hii has se­cured parts in a Hol­ly­wood block­buster, a heavy-duty drama and a much-loved soap.

And he is poised to truly show off his act­ing chops in Bet­ter Man.

A drama­ti­sa­tion of how Aus­tralian Van Nguyen was caught at­tempt­ing to traf­fic heroin while en route from Viet­nam, it is the heart­break­ing tale of the fight which en­sued to save him from the death penalty.

Hii, who stud­ied in Queens­land, still re­mem­bers where he was that day in 2005 when the na­tion heard of Nguyen’s fate.

‘‘I was in Bris­bane at univer­sity do­ing an arts de­gree and one of my favourite sub­jects was hu­man rights and ethics,’’ he says.

‘‘My lec­turer had been on the board of Amnesty in Aus­tralia.

‘‘On that morn­ing I was at the Amnesty can­dle­light vigil down at the Town Hall in Bris­bane and that was a re­ally, re­ally som­bre day.’’

Hii holds his own in Bet­ter Man along­side act­ing heavy­weights David Wen­ham (as Nguyen’s lawyer Ju­lian McMa­hon), Bryan Brown (Lex Lasry, who also fought on Nguyen’s be­half) and Clau­dia Kar­van (Ju­lian’s wife, Ber­nadette).

The role gave Hii the chance to act with one of his idols in Wen­ham.

‘‘I was al­ways go­ing to be star struck,’’ he says.

‘‘Then you re­alise they are nor­mal peo­ple, and that they are just in­cred­i­bly gifted and tal­ented and it makes you want to lift your game.

‘‘For me it was re­ally en­er­getic want­ing to match them and go for it and hit the mark. There are only so many times in your life you can say you have starred with your idols so you re­ally want to give it your all.’’

Hii was forced to ad­mit when he met Wen­ham that he ac­tu­ally owned some­thing which used to be­long to the ac­tor – a book he ‘‘for­got’’ to re­turn to the NIDA li­brary.

‘‘It was The Cherry Orchard and I took it off the shelf and re­alised when I got home it had David’s name in the front cover,’’ he says.

‘‘There were some notes in there and he is one of my favourite ac­tors. I kind of for­got to re­turn it. I told David about that and he thought it was quite funny.’’

Hii’s Bet­ter Man gig came hot on the heels of his part in ill-fated Hol­ly­wood block­buster Par­adise Lost, which sadly crashed and burned due to a blown out bud­get be­fore it even started film­ing.

Hii was on his way to Los An­ge­les to take up the role three days af­ter he had grad­u­ated. His taste of the big time was short-lived but eye-open­ing.

As part of the pre­pro­duc­tion, he spent a month get­ting ev­ery part of his body mapped at the Creative In­sti­tute for Tech­nolo­gies, which put Jeff Bridges through his paces for Tron .

‘‘My body was mapped all over – it was go­ing to be like Avatar. I was scanned in from all sorts of ter­ri­fy­ing an­gles,’’ he says.

Hii spent a month kick­ing his heels be­fore he got the role in Bet­ter Man, and then man­aged to squeeze in a Christ­mas break be­fore he started as Hud­son Walsh on Eleven’s Neigh­bours. He will take a break from the Aussie soap to go trav­el­ling.

‘‘My ab­so­lute dream role would be to get on the next sea­son of Game Of Thrones. I will be in Lon­don for a few weeks when I travel and I will be knock­ing on their door.’’

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