ScreenTalk: Pana Hema-Taylor

Pana Hema-Taylor: How acting can be enlightening


Pana Hema-Taylor is a well-known face on our screens, thanks to regular appearances in TV dramas WestsideThe Brokenwood Mysteries, and Dirty Laundry. His film roles include BoyThe Dead Lands and The Most Fun You Can Have Dying.

In this ScreenTalk, Hema-Taylor talks about:

  • Being a ‘little rebel’ on the set of his first show Whānau
  • How he found his role in Nights in the Gardens of Spain confronting
  • Basing the role of Juju in Boy partly on one of his uncles
  • How acting with Cohen Holloway was a comical form of hell
  • Why the film Redemption felt so close to home for him
  • Learning a lot from actor Matt Whelan while making The Most Fun You Can Have Dying
  • Shooting the film ‘guerrilla style’ in Europe
  • The poignancy of playing a gay character in Spartacus
  • What he loves most about filming The Brokenwood Mysteries
  • Channelling his grandparents for his role in The Dead Lands
  • Exploring a disconnected Māori character in Westside
  • Feeling he was playing a token role in Dirty Laundry 
  • Honouring a real-life hero in TV drama Daffodils of May 

This video was first uploaded on 3 April 2017, and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via this Creative Commons licence.

Interview, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside

Maxine Fleming: At the heart of a good story...
Graeme Cowley is a cinematographer with an impressive line-up of features to his credit including Smash Palace, Utu, and Carry Me Back.
The latest ScreenTalk interview with Brian Holland talking about his journey from programming shows to making them.
Listen to Catherine Fitzgerald in conversation about the creativity of producing.