Rima Te Wi­ata

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - THE GRILL - Pho­to­graph by Lawrence Smith / Words by Emma Page Milo Tell me Hot choco­late Fic­tion Non fic­tion Com­edy Tragedy Hir

Rima Te Wi­ata has been grac­ing stage and screen for nearly four decades since mak­ing her stage de­but at 17. Roles in film and tele­vi­sion fol­lowed from the mid 80s, of­ten in­volv­ing com­edy – re­mem­ber her stun­ning par­ody of news­reader Judy Bai­ley on Is­sues?

She stole hearts as Aunty Bella in Hunt for the Wilder­peo­ple, show­cas­ing her mu­si­cal tal­ent with the meme-gen­er­at­ing Happy Birth­day Ricky Baker song, and last year be­came a mem­ber of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit for con­tri­bu­tions to film and tele­vi­sion.

Te Wi­ata’s lat­est project is Hir, a play by cel­e­brated Amer­i­can play­wright Tay­lor Mac.

Tired from a long day re­hears­ing, she apol­o­gises for mud­dling her thoughts: “I can’t even ar­tic­u­late my­self… I ac­tu­ally have to shut my eyes to con­cen­trate.”

Right now the play is her life. At home she shuts down, no TV, no mu­sic, just read­ing the script, think­ing about her char­ac­ter and go­ing to bed. It’s how she al­ways works.

She thinks ev­ery­one should see Hir. It’s funny and tragic. She doesn’t usu­ally hard sell like this. But: “It’s re­ally, re­ally amaz­ing.”

Por­tray­ing a sub­ur­ban fam­ily in dra­matic flux, gen­der roles and dy­nam­ics up­turned, she was sold the mo­ment she read it. “It seemed to me to be a mod­ern clas­sic in ad­vance… a play that was go­ing to res­onate for a very long time.”

Screen Stage

Orange Lemon

Gui­tar Pi­ano Prefer­ably both in the same song!

Hokey pokey Vanilla The epiphany of ice­cream spir­i­tu­al­ity.

Elec­tric blan­ket Hot­tie

Home Travel

Now Later

Sur­prise me In real life, tell me. If on stage and some­body is in the au­di­ence, please sur­prise me AF­TER­WARDS.

Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum and a shot of but­ter­scotch schnapps with whipped cream on top of the hot choco­late and marsh­mal­lows. Warn­ing: This will add ap­prox 50kg.

Call Text Voice­mail build-up is the bane of the 21st cen­tury.

Daisy Dan­de­lion

Tea cup Mug

El­e­va­tor Stairs I don’t want to lose the 50kg from the spe­cial hot choco­late. Night in Night out

Eey­ore Pooh

Ev­er­green De­cid­u­ous

Thun­der Light­ning I was un­der the im­pres­sion these were com­ple­men­tary phe­nom­ena?

mostly.

BOTH! Rima Te Wi­ata stars in the Silo The­atre pro­duc­tion of Her­ald The­atre un­til Au­gust 25.

at Auck­land’s

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