Keisha enjoying ‘golden age’ of TV
KEISHA Castle-Hughes is happy her career has moved from big to small ... well, in terms of screens, anyway.
The 27-year-old role is following up playing Obara Sand in Game of Thrones with the role of a tough, streetwise FMI agent on the hunt for mailbomber Ted Kaczynski in the Discovery Channel series Manhunt: Unabomber.
And although she tasted early big-screen success after bursting on to the scene as a 12-year-old Oscar nominee for her role in Whale Rider she says she’s enjoying working on television rather than in Hollywood blockbusters.
‘‘I think a lot, maybe most, of the best roles are being written for the TV shows now,’’ CastleHughes says. ‘‘Especially as the movies play it safer and safer, the roles written for women in Hollywood seem to be getting... I dunno, more cliched maybe? But over a season of TV, every character has to develop and grow, and the interactions between the characters have to be believable. Otherwise, we’ll just switch off. It’s kind of a golden age, I reckon. I just hope it keeps going.’’ EYAD Masoud is a swimmer in limbo. A Syrian citizen living in Saudi Arabia, the 22-year-old is relying on a race in New Zealand to prove he’s a world class athlete.
Nowhere else would give him a chance. Saudi Arabia bans foreigners from public pools and competitions and, as a fit young man, if Masoud returned to wartorn Syria he’d likely be forced to swap swimming for combat. Few countries stamp visas in Syrian passports these days; it was grit and serendipity that got him to Auckland.
He’s won five out five races since landing in September, and will compete in the NZ Short Course Championships this week.
Masoud started swimming as a six-year-old in Syria but struggled to competed until spotted by Kiwi coach David Wright, who says he’s ‘‘as good as any swimmer in the world’’.
Wright has pulled strings so he could register with international sports body Fina by getting him membership at Waterhole Swim Club in West Auckland, even though he lived in Jeddah.
The next step was getting a New Zealand visitor visa – no easy task, he was rejected twice – so Masoud could compete against equals.
Masoud is often asked why he kept swimming.
‘‘I just love it. My hands are chained in so many ways, so when I dive into the pool it’s the only time I feel free, but I also want to be the best.’’
Eyad Masoud hopes to make it as an international swimmer by competing in New Zealand.