Meet the young Kiwis taking on Hollywood

Ricardo Simich,
Spy News,
Publish Date
Saturday, 15 July 2017, 5:55PM
Danielle Cormack, Mattias Inwood and Jessica-Grace Smith.
Danielle Cormack, Mattias Inwood and Jessica-Grace Smith.

Kiwi actor Mattias Inwood, 23 premiered in the Shakespeare reboot Will which launched in the US on Monday.

“Forget everything you learned in high school English. Will is the sexy take on William Shakespeare you’ve been waiting for,” Harpers Bazaar wrote of the series.

In the series, Inwood plays the bard’s best mate Richard Burbage, the man considered the first great actor of English theatre and one of the foremost thespians of the Globe Theatre. He was also a theatre owner, entrepreneur and painter.

Inwood flew to New York for the premiere of the series, held at New York’s Bryant Park with an after-party at the nearby Bryant Park Grill.

And it seems we may have the next Niki Caro on our hands in the form of actor and director Jessica-Grace Smith, who recently won the Youth Jury Award at the Oscar-qualifying Palm Springs International ShortFest, beating out 300-plus international animations and live action short films to take out the prize.

Smith, 28, wrote, directed and produced her debut short film Everybody Else is Taken, a film that examines gender roles and was executive produced by fellow ex-pat Danielle Cormack.

Rubbing shoulders at the festival with the likes of A-list stars Robin Wright, Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Matthew Modine, Sam Rockwell and Sir Ian McKellen, the actress most famous for her role on Aussie soap Home and Away, told Spy of her award-winning film.

“It’s an autobiographical short film based on my time as a young kid growing up in Dannevirke. I was a real tomboy, I wanted to play with the boys but they wouldn’t let me — the girls were pretty mean to me and I just didn’t quite fit in anywhere, so I cut all my hair off and started to embrace my difference.

“I think it challenges the audience to look inside themselves at their own lives and consider what roles they are playing.”

Cormack and Smith had such a blast working together, they are now writing a feature film that they want to co-direct.