From small screen to the big stage

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AMY JACK­MAN

Em­mett Sk­il­ton says he knew he had made it when an im­age of him­self half-naked was splashed on the back of a bus.

The ac­tor per­forms the main role of Henry in Red Leap’s lat­est pro­duc­tion, Pa­per Sky, which opened at Down­stage on Novem­ber 2.

Sk­il­ton rose to na­tion­wide fame last year when he scored the role of Axl John­son in the tele­vi­sion se­ries The Almighty John­sons.

The Porirua na­tive said he could vividly re­mem­ber the first time he saw his face on the back of a bus.

‘‘I was driv­ing and I’d been told that the posters were up.

‘‘I had seen other ones, but I was about two cars be­hind a bus and wasn’t re­ally con­cen­trat­ing.

‘‘The van in front of me pulled out and there I was star­ing at my­self top­less. The per­son in the car next to me no­ticed it and was open-mouthed look­ing from me to the bus. It was quite sur­pris­ing.

‘‘Hav­ing your nip­ples on a bus takes a bit of get­ting used to.

‘‘I’m not sure I’d do it again any time soon.’’

He said now he was used to the fame, he was ex­cited to be able to use his ex­po­sure to help causes around New Zealand.

‘‘I get to be a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for cer­tain com­pa­nies. At the mo­ment I’m work­ing for the SPCA.

‘‘I’ve been vol­un­teer­ing for them for the past two years and I get to be the face of them when they do pub­lic­ity stuff in Auck­land.

‘‘It’s re­ally good that I’ve been able to use my fame and ex­po­sure to share my in­ter­ests and what I find im­por­tant in the world.’’

Sk­il­ton grew up in Ti­tahi Bay and stud­ied drama at Toi Whakaari. Pa­per Sky is his first show in Welling­ton since he ap­peared in The Almighty John­sons.

‘‘It’s awe­some to be back. It’s been about seven months since I was last here,’’ he said.

‘‘There are a lot of old friends and food places to catch up with. I also want to find time to visit Toi Whakaari and my old high school.’’

He said he had al­ways wanted to be an ac­tor.

‘‘It’s al­ways been per­form­ing, hav­ing peo­ple en­joy what you’re do­ing. I en­joy hav­ing an au­di­ence and the buzz I get from them.

‘‘ Dur­ing my pri­mary school years, the old­est chil­dren did a school pro­duc­tion at the Porirua Lit­tle The­atre. I re­mem­ber play­ing a kiwi. Be­cause we were young, we just had to be in the kiwi suits and do a few lit­tle moves.

‘‘I re­mem­ber stick­ing my tongue through the eye hole of the kiwi cos­tume, and I stole about a quar­ter of the au­di­ence’s at­ten­tion.

‘‘It was the first time I re­mem­ber get­ting a buzz from per­form­ing, and I still get it.’’

Sk­il­ton said there were a few dif­fer­ences be­tween act­ing for the­atre and for tele­vi­sion.

‘‘With the­atre you get in­stant au­di­ence re­ac­tion,’’ he said.

‘‘The au­di­ence will be quiet or they’ll shuf­fle in their seats or they’ll laugh or they’ll cry.

‘‘But with screen there’s very lit­tle re­hearsal time. So what you per­form on screen is gen­er­ally quite fresh.’’

Pa­per Sky tells the story of Henry, a writer who re­fuses to leave his apart­ment.

Henry’s only com­pany cho­rus of al­ter-egos.

‘‘Henry is a recluse and is suf­fer­ing,’’ Sk­il­ton said. ‘‘In the past he has lost his wife and now he’s se­cured him­self in his home, try-

is a ing to for­get and write his nov­els.

‘‘It’s about his jour­ney to over­come loss and gain a life. It’s quite a re­lat­able hu­man story. It’s very mag­i­cal and uses the imag­i­na­tion. There are also a lot of jokes.’’

Henry’s world is dis­rupted when his own cre­ation, Lu­mina, bursts from the pages of his fan­tasy and into the apart­ment on a mis­sion to save her pa­pery world.

Pa­per Sky

Pa­per Sky,

Back to his roots: Ti­tahi Bay na­tive Em­mett Sk­il­ton re­turns home to Welling­ton to per­form in Pa­per Sky at Down­stage. In­set: As Henry in

sur­rounded by Henry’s al­ter-egos, played by Justin Haiu, Veronica Brady and Ali­son Bruce.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.