By Rena Owen
Since the completion of Avatar, Mr Cameron has brought a substantial amount of land in NZ and has created an organic empire. He has also publicly announced that he will shoot all of his future projects in NZ and I believe, he is also in the process of becoming a New Zealand citizen. A visionary choice given his passion and commitment to the environment and in these days of global turmoil, not only does NZ still enjoy the most amazing natural light and clean air, NZ has also been deemed the safest country in the world!
During his time in my homeland, Mr Cameron has also become a very pro-active member of the NZ Film Commission and continues to be incredibly supportive of all things Maori! This led to our second encounter last year, April 2015 when Mr Cameron generously hosted a Los Angeles Premiere of the NZ film; “The Dead Lands” a pre-colonial Maori action film in which I played a role. Mr Cameron introduced the film and we enjoyed a great Q & A and reception following the screening. Along with our NZ Consul General; Mr Leon Grice, a few NZ celebrities also showed up including; Keisha Castle-Hughes who was nominated for an Oscar for her leading role in “The Whale Rider,” and Martin Henderson who is the new Dr. McDreamy on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Featured Image: From left to right, Rena Owen, Keisha Castle-Hughes and James Cameron | Credit to Rena Owen
Rena Owen is a multi-talented, award-winning actress. She is one of the only 6 actors to work with leading directors in the likes of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. She has a strong concept of family, being one of 9 children. Born in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, she also spent her childhood there riding horses, milking cows and swimming in the rivers. Her father was Maori/Welsh and her mother was European. She belonged to the Maori Tribal affiliation, Ngati Hine. Even when Rena was young, she was actively engaged in the Maori Culture Club, Community Stage Plays, and High School Musical productions. In the mid-1980s, she trained at the Actors Institute in London. After her training, she worked in various aspects of theater. Rena is best known for George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones where she played the role of Taun We. She is one of the very few to receive Dame Te Atairangikaahu, Maori Queen, Literary Award.