Woman’s Day (New Zealand)
Jay Ryan ‘WE ARE SO LUCKY TO BE KIWIS’
The Top Of The Lake actor appears in Muru, in cinemas Thursday
What interested you about being a part of Muru?
The opportunity to work with Cliff Curtis, one of Aotearoa’s finest actors, of course! I had the honour of being alongside a cast and crew of some of our brightest indigenous talents. Muru came to me in the middle of the COVID saga and I couldn’t miss the chance to film out in the fresh air of the ancient Tūhoe forests and be a part of this important and thrilling project.
Did you know much about the story of the Tūhoe Raids before signing on?
I was living overseas at the time of the 2007 raid, but I do remember the media coverage of the events. What I didn’t know was the ongoing history between Tūhoe and the Crown. When I first read the script, I learnt of the beloved prophet Rua Kēnana and the first disastrous raid by the Crown that took place 100 years before the events of Muru.
What was it like working alongside Tame Iti?
Incredible. Such mana is a rarity. Tame is iconic. It was a true honour to share the screen with this man and on his home ground, with a very personal story that belongs to him and the people of Tūhoe.
After working overseas for so long, what was it like to be back in New Zealand with your family?
Coming home is the ultimate feeling. Each time I return with a deeper sense of appreciation to be from this beautiful land of ours. There is nothing close to it on this planet – we really are so lucky to be Kiwis. If I could live at home full-time and have every film and TV project shoot here, there would be no complaints!
Where is the one place you have to visit whenever you come back to NZ?
A barefoot walk along Auckland’s black sand beaches and a visit to The Piha Store for a homemade bacon and egg pie with a world-class Allpress barista coffee. Tu meke!