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Cliff Curtis’ Startling Confession in Mana Magazine

27 July, 2014
For immediate release

Cliff Curtis’ Startling Confession in Mana Magazine

The new-look Mana magazine includes a story on Hollywood star and Rotorua local, Cliff Curtis. The famously versatile actor talks about his transformation for new film The Dark Horse, and reveals secrets from his past—he never wanted the role of Uncle Bully in the acclaimed drama Once Were Warriors. Even though his chilling portrayal of the uncle who rapes his young niece (leading to her suicide) helped to launch his international acting career, Curtis says the decision to play the character was made by an agent without his consent.

The actor had been on holiday and unreachable, only to return to be told by his agent that the role had been accepted and filming started the next day. “I was completely insulted” he told Mana editor Leonie Hayden. It was the sound advice of whanau who helped convince him to go along with the role, which propelled him into a Hollywood career.

“Ultimately what helps me to rationalise telling these stories is that I look for the hope in them. Even though it was this horrible, depressing background, Warriors was about the hope and strength of our beautiful Māori women, who’ve held our families together and overcome incredible obstacles.”

In the re-launched August/September issue of Mana, out this week, Curtis discusses his career, the influence of his family and his views on the upcoming election in his most candid interview to date. It’s the second time the actor has graced the cover of Mana, having last featured in 2000.

Published since 1993, Mana remains an icon on the Māori media landscape and is the only Māori magazine available nationwide. The August/September 2014 issue is the first revamped issue produced by Kōwhai Media, the publisher of New Zealand Geographic (2013 Canon Newsstand Magazine of the Year).

The re-launched magazine is supported by a new website and a free app which streams daily Māori news and views straight to mobile devices. Visit to download it for free, and users will be in the draw to win a double pass to Cliff Curtis’ critically acclaimed new film, The Dark Horse.

Mana is available from all good magazine retailers from Monday 28 July.


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