Neill’s canine enactment

Sam Neill, 61, plays the title role of Edwardian clergyman the Dean in Paramount Pictures film Dean Spanley, which opens in UK cinemas on December 12. In a Guardian interview Neill discusses the film, his reputation in New Zealand as a “rabble-rousing leftie”, vineyards and the word ‘celebrity’. He seems a bit anxious about the premiere, and one of the first things he says about Dean Spanley is that he turned down the part three times. Hardly surprising, since it’s a role that requires him to literally howl at the moon – the Dean believes he was a cocker spaniel in a previous life. Neill appears genuinely concerned as to whether he has pulled it off. “I was very daunted by the part. I thought: ‘I can’t do this. I’m not the man for the job.’” I mention this a few days later to New Zealander Toa Fraser, the film’s director. “He’s a nervy bugger,” he replies. “He always gets like that.”


Tags: Dean Spanley  Guardian (The)  Sam Neill  Toa Fraser  

Film Fest Director Marten Rabarts Adapts

Film Fest Director Marten Rabarts Adapts

Marten Rabarts, the globetrotting New Zealand film executive turned festival director reflects on a year spent grounded, watching whales from his home office and the formative influences of Wendy Palmer and…