Daring new role
Rotorua-born actor Cliff Curtis, 41, stars in the NBC medical drama Trauma as daredevil flight medic Reuben ‘Rabbit’ Palchuck. The show premiered in the US on September 28. Acting was always a hobby to Curtis. “You don’t take these things seriously in New Zealand,” he shakes his head. “Men are men, real men. This whole idea of getting into the arts ó no, no. But my job wasn’t challenging for me intellectually or creatively, and I saw a play, John Osborne’s ‘Look Back in Anger’ and the lead character from that play is called Cliff. I just thought, ‘Wow! I’m going to try that.’ and I just did.” Though he’s worked in the US for 15 years, he still commutes. “One little television film I did with Anthony Quinn and they flew me here to L.A. to do my pre- and post-production. I thought, ‘What am I doing here? I don’t want to be here. I want to be home I’m homesick.’ A couple years after that I started getting gigs.” He’s played everything from an Arab to a Chechen and costarred in films like The Whale Rider, The Piano, Training Day and Three Kings. Curtis trained at the New Zealand Drama School before attending the prestigious Teatro Dimitri Scoula in Switzerland.