Within the family unit, you have people you grew up with who are supposed to be your brother, father, or your mother who are almost like strangers and acquaintances.
I did roles that I hated, and there were roles that were detrimental to my acting ability. There were roles that I was always doing that were always the comic relief... it was destroying my soul.
I've always said that, first and foremost, I make films for New Zealanders. They're my target audience. Then after that, if people appreciate my stories from outside this country, then that's an added bonus.
I like flawed characters, and I like seeing people who are supposed to be not villains but antagonists. There are elements to them, which are really annoying, but you kind of see where they came from. You see the things that caused those inadequacies.
My style of working is I'll often be behind the camera, or right next to the camera yelling words at people, like, 'Say this, say this! Say it this way!' I'll straight-up give Anthony Hopkins a line reading. I don't care.
With some actors, you can tell, just from their different backgrounds and their different approaches to working, they would have just a natural conflict, just a sort of friction.
I really like arcade games and like the '80s and early '90s kind of games, just because there's a real kind of naivete to them, but there's like a real inventiveness to it as well.
That's what attracts me to the kind of characters I try and write - that they're not cut and dried.
My favourite kind of comedy comes from the awkwardness of living, the stuff that makes you cringe but borders on tragic - that is more interesting to me. It resonates; it comes from emotional truth.
As kids, we all thought Bob Marley was Maori.
I really didn't want to be boxed into becoming a certain kind of film-maker - becoming the Maori story film-maker because I had made those short films.
There's nothing cooler than going to work and hanging around with your friends and laughing, because it's something that you get told off for throughout your entire time at school... it's just like a big 'in your face' to those bully teachers that you had when you were a kid.
Films that are easy to sell happen to be the worst films. Look at the poster for 'Wrath of the Titans' and 'John Carter': they're exactly the same. You could switch titles.
I find that a lot of child actors are ruined once they've done a job.
The ridiculous events in everyday life are often overlooked - people don't recognise it as potentially cinematic.
Maori get pigeonholed into the idea they're spiritual and telling stories like 'Whale Rider' and 'Once Were Warriors,' quite serious stuff, but we're pretty funny people, and we never really have had an opportunity to show that side of ourselves, the clumsy, nerdy side of ourselves, which is something I am.
My favorite was 'The Lost Boys.' Corey Haim wore this trench coat, and I made my mum buy me a trench coat. I wore it to school, to primary school.
When I became a film-maker, all my favourite films, they weren't comedies.
When I play characters, I like playing people who just comment on stuff, stand around and talk.
There are lots of parts of filmmaking that I don't like. At the end of the day, especially on features, the film turns into a commodity. You have to play this entirely new game I'm very uncomfortable with.