Young Kiwi actor Sam Jellie had better get his autograph perfected before he starts high school this year.

The Northcote teenager features in the latest series of Netflix's TV series Marco Polo.

The 13-year-old was picked to play the role of a young prince in the action series last year and spent several weeks in July filming in Budapest, Hungary, accompanied by his proud mum, Ying Jellie.

The show is now screening around the world.


Last year Sam tried to "act casual" around his schoolmates at Northcote Intermediate when he returned from shooting. But he could be set for some star attention when his high school year starts at Northcote College.

He said the feeling he had when he learned he'd got the part was overwhelming.

"I felt crazy, I could have screamed to the whole world."

Sam said he didn't feel nervous until after he'd shot his first scene.

"I just did my acting, you know. Then at the end my mum showed me a picture of like a hundred people looking at one screen at me and then I froze. I was scared then."

Years of hard work practising judo and karate helped him nab the part ahead of hundreds of other young hopefuls from around the world.

On the set he got more training for his character, who is kidnapped from his royal home and taught the art of Kung Fu.

"I got training from the best people in China and they taught me all these awesome moves. I was sweating all the time [in training] but they were really fun."

His role involved having his head shaved and although Sam said it felt a bit strange, he reckoned he suited the buzz cut. "I looked fabulous."

The shoot in Hungary was an experience he will never forget.

"It was a brand new experience, it opened my eyes," Sam said. "It's a beautiful country, with lots of nice people."

Sam said he would be happy to follow acting if he was given the opportunity, but his main goal in life was to do something which helped other people.