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Star of the big and small screen, comedian and scribe, co-wrote and starred in Sione's Wedding 2: Unfinished Business - which had the biggest opening week of any New Zealand film. Does he crack himself up?.

Critics - do you pay any attention to them?

"They are an integral part of a robust storytelling industry. But you're only human and you want everyone to like what you do. I try to be philosophical and open-minded. There are spikes of joy among the deep dark valleys."

Is the stereotype of comedians suffering the dark flipside true for you?


"It's not so much about me being funny but it's just my personality. I am more serious and quiet than people think."

When did you last laugh out loud?

"I do that often. It's good for you. I cracked up heaps of times when I watched Boy. I try to laugh on a daily basis."

What is your favourite word?

"Dawn. Because it signals so much hope and it always comes around after the dark. My least favourite would be 'deadline'."

Who would play the lead in the biopic of Oscar Kightley?

"Wesley Snipes - because he's dark enough. But he's in jail so that could be hard."

The best advice you ever got?


"From a dear old friend who is 70. She said, 'Oscar, just keep living till you die'."

The toughest thing about making a sequel?

"Keeping those who love you happy, but attracting a new audience."

The thing you would most like to change about yourself?

"Some days, I think everything. But most days I just accept I have to work with what I've got."

Music that unravels you?

"Reggae. Gregory Isaacs. I have a very eclectic music taste. On my iTunes I have everything from classical, to hip-hop and Hendrix. I imagine you need all of it at some point in your life."

The person who has most inspired and influenced you?

"My dear Ma, who passed away three years ago. She was born in the year of the dragon and she was a dragon. And I mean that in a good way. She protected me, but she breathed fire on me to drive me and push me."

If you're watching Samoa play the All Blacks, whom do you cheer for?

"I can't. It's like watching your parents fight. I just go to my room and wait for the yelling to stop."

The living person you'd most like to meet?

"Muhammad Ali. I used to watch his fights as a kid. He is a flawed human being but in his time, as a man with coloured skin, he was at the top of the world and he came to mean so much to people in countries where they don't have too many heroes."