Two young Kiwi actors are poised for Hollywood fame after lining up on the red carpet in Los Angeles last week for the premiere of a Hollywood horror movie filmed in Dunedin.

Ben Black and Simon Mead, both from Auckland, lined up last Wednesday with co-stars of their movie Black Christmas, including the movie's leads Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride and Stranger Things).

The movie is a remake of a 1970's slasher film from Blumhouse Producers - the producers of Oscar-winner Get Out. It focuses on a group of female students who are stalked by a stranger during their Christmas break - until the young sorority pledges discover that the killer is part of an underground college conspiracy.

Black Christmas (2019) - Trailer

Black, who has previously starred in Filthy Rich and The Cul de Sac, plays Phil, a college student in a fraternity that represents some of the misogynistic culture that exists in our social climate. The movie was made to empower women, says the young actor.


"Dunedin was a great change of pace to shoot in. The university plays an integral part of the film and it's cool to see the beautiful architecture on the big screen," says Black.

Mead, who played a young Sir Edmund Hillary in the TV movie Hillary, plays Nate in the film, who is one of the female lead's boyfriends.

"Nate is an unassuming, kind and supportive person, but as the movie progresses we start to see an uncharacteristic behavioural change from him," says Mead, who also added that when the characters are on the Otago campus in the movie, Dunedin's Gothic architecture features strongly, almost becoming a character itself.

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"The premiere in LA was like a little snippet into a world that feels completely different to what we are used to in NZ. It was an unforgettable experience being with my good friend Ben on the carpet and representing all the NZ actors who couldn't make it out," says Mead.