All Blacks past and present took to the red carpet in Auckland this evening at the world premiere of the new documentary film about the life of former test great Dan Carter.
Dan Carter: A Perfect 10 made its big screen debut at Newmarket's Broadway cinemas tonight ahead of its nationwide release on Thursday.
The former All Blacks star and wife Honor made a rare public appearance at the screening, while Carter's parents, Bev and Neville, were also in attendance.
A host of Carter's former rugby colleagues were also on the invite list, including former coach Sir Graham Henry.
Directed by Luke Mellows, Dan Carter: A Perfect 10, gives a fresh insight into the private life of the man revered as the best five-eighth the world has seen, featuring interviews with Carter's family members and those closely involved throughout his glittering career.
The film charts Carter's rise from his rural upbringing in the small Canterbury farming town of Southbridge to the heights of his international career and recent stints playing in France and Japan.
The cameras also capture the 37-year-old relaxing during a lengthy off-season in New Zealand over the last 10 months, showing glimpses of Carter with his two young boys, Marco and Fox.
Speaking to the Herald earlier this month, Carter admitted he took some convincing before agreeing to let his life play out in front of the cameras.
"When I got asked to do a film about my life and my career, my natural response was 'No,'" he said.
"But then I thought it would be a nice memento for my children to learn about my career and what I was able to achieve and also the setbacks that I had throughout my life, so I agreed to do it.
"I can't wait for people to see it now. To share a little bit about my daily life, taking the boys to school, which I do most days, was something a little bit different and hopefully the people that watch the film will enjoy that little insight."
While most Kiwi rugby fans are well versed in Carter's long list of playing achievements, the film's biggest revelations centre on how he dealt with and overcame the various mental and physical struggles he endured throughout his career.
On the field, the three-time World Player of the Year exuded confidence and was known for his rock-solid temperament and decision-making ability. He enjoyed tremendous success at every level of the game with Canterbury, the Crusaders, and on the international stage throughout 112 appearances for the All Blacks.
But there were dark times too, and the film captures the emotional and physical pain Carter battled through after a groin injury cruelly ended his 2011 World Cup dream.
It may surprise many to learn of the effort and lengths Carter went to in mending his battered body and overcoming his own doubts, before returning to his match-winning best in his final outing in the black jersey in the 2015 tournament final.
Carter hopes the film reveals a greater depth to his personality than he has previously been credited with, and proves that even for a player of his stature, nothing came easy.
"That was a really important point – I'm not robotic and I'm just like everyone else," he says.
"I have my doubts. I've had a lot of lapses in confidence. When you are set back with so many serious injuries at certain times, it really takes its toll mentally and that's probably been the most challenging part of my career.
"But I think the movie showcases that I handled those reasonably well and more importantly I had amazing people around me to help me build my confidence back up again and get that mental side of my game back.
"And because I was able to do that I was able to finish on such a high."