Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

'Boy' star seriously injured in car crash

Pop star Stan Walker is offering prayers and others have taken to social media to show their support for injured Kiwi actor James Rolleston.

The 19-year-old is in Tauranga Hospital recovering from serious injuries suffered in a car crash last night.

His agent today confirmed the star of hit film Boy was awake and surrounded by family.

Among the messages of support on social media was a message from Walker on Instagram, saying the actor "needs our prayers".


Others to send their support include Boy co-star Cohen Holloway, who wrote on Facebook:

"Thinking of you cuz. Hope you all good".

Rolleston was in a car near his hometown Opotiki, when it hit the nearby Otara bridge about 10.30pm yesterday.

Rolleston in Taika Waititi's 'Boy'. Photo / Supplied
Rolleston in Taika Waititi's 'Boy'. Photo / Supplied

Firefighters cut him free and because of the injuries he suffered, a specialist paramedic was flown in to stabilise him before he was flown to Tauranga Hospital.

A second person in the car had minor injuries.

Rolleston is awake and is surrounded by his family, agent Tim Gordon confirmed to the Herald earlier today.

"At the moment, he is in a holding pattern. He's alright," Gordon said this morning. He could not be contacted this evening.

Cliff Curtis, left, and director James Napier Robertson and James Rolleston, right, on the set of The Dark Horse.  Photo / Supplied
Cliff Curtis, left, and director James Napier Robertson and James Rolleston, right, on the set of The Dark Horse. Photo / Supplied

"They are making him comfortable and he is responding to all the things he needs to respond to."



Rolleston is awake and is surrounded by his family, agent Tim Gordon confirmed to the Herald.

Wellington-based Gordon was hoping to travel to Tauranga today.

He was getting updates from the family who told him it was a "reasonably serious car accident".

Gordon said he didn't know if Rolleston had been a passenger or whether he was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

Rolleston, left, and Cliff Curtis on the red carpet for the New Zealand Film awards in 2014. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Rolleston, left, and Cliff Curtis on the red carpet for the New Zealand Film awards in 2014. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Rolleston is also well known for his role in Vodafone TV commercials and the company today wished him a "very speedy recovery".

"James Rolleston is a hugely talented young man, who we've been lucky enough to work with over the years," Vodafone said.

"We were saddened to hear of his accident last night, and all our thoughts are with James and his family."

Rolleston attended the world premiere of his latest film The Rehearsal at the New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland on Saturday.

He stars in a remake of Goodbye Pork Pie in which he has performed some of the stunt driving for the car chase movie.

Rolleston in a Vodafone NZ ad. Photo / Supplied
Rolleston in a Vodafone NZ ad. Photo / Supplied

"He's actually an amazing driver," producer Tom Hern told the Herald during the shoot.

"The stunties were blown away by him. We thought we would have to have stunt doubles do most of the driving but he's ended up doing quite a lot because he's a natural talent and a cool head."

Rolleston made his screen debut in Taika Waititi's 2010 film Boy, playing the main role of the child who idolises his father.

In 2014 he was in two further films - The Dark Horse, in which he co-starred opposite Cliff Curtis as a teenager who is set to be initiated into a gang, and The Dead Lands, in which he plays a young Maori warrior seeking vengeance for the massacre of his family.

Family friend Barry Howe said James Rolleston was a "really good friend" to his son and word of the crash had spread quickly in the community.

"He's a good boy, bit of an icon in our little town. He's really down to earth. He still plays rugby when he comes down. He played two weeks ago.

"All of our hopes and wishes are out there for James' recovery. All the boys are a bit devastated, all rooting for him for a speedy recovery."

Bay of Plenty District Health Board has released a short statement, saying: "Actor James Rolleston, 19 years old from Opotiki, was this morning airlifted to Tauranga Hospital following a car accident.

No further details will be released and the family will not make any comment."

- Additional reporting Kyra Dawson.

- NZ Herald

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