Kiwi actress to star as Sand Snake in television’s popular Game of Thrones

Queen of Kiwi movie screens Keisha Castle-Hughes is believed to have landed a role in wildly popular TV series Game of Thrones.

The Herald on Sunday understands that Castle-Hughes, who rose to stardom aged 13 in an Academy Award-nominated performance as hero Paikea in Kiwi film Whale Rider, told friends she had landed a role on the smash-hit fantasy series.

The 24-year-old is understood to be playing a Sand Snake, one of eight daughters of Prince Oberyn Martell. The mum-of-one could fit the role of Nymeria Sand, who is described as being beautiful, of mixed race, emotional and strong.

Castle-Hughes may have given her own nod to a future appearance on the show, making references to the show on her Twitter feed. She has changed her Twitter handle to include the name Stark — the surname of one of the lead families in the books and television show.


And in the past few weeks, she has visited Hong Kong, London and Northern Ireland, where the show is filmed. Castle-Hughes moved to Los Angeles soon after marrying DJ Jonathan Morrison on Valentine's Day last year.

Morrison has since returned to New Zealand, but Castle-Hughes told the Herald on Sunday that she was staying in the US to chase her dreams.

She had just finished a busy pilot season when she returned to New Zealand last week to co-host four performances of live Kiwi variety show Happy Hour.

Game of Thrones received a record 19 Emmy nods this week, the highest number of nominations this television season.

Castle-Hughes' new manager could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, US entertainment bible Variety has heaped praise on New Zealand cult TV series The Almighty Johnsons, in which Castle-Hughes also appeared. Reviewer Brian Lowry said the series "is certainly a cut above".

"It will be easy to develop a pretty sizeable crush on The Almighty Johnsons," he wrote. The show is screening in America at 9pm on Fridays.