Ten years after his breakout role in Boy, James Rolleston is back on the big screen.

Rolleston is starring alongside newcomer Samuel Austin in comedy crime caper Lowdown Dirty Criminals - which he describes as a mix between Dumb and Dumber and Pulp Fiction.

Rolleston's career star is rising once more after his long road back from a car accident four years ago. The crash left Rolleston with a brain injury that meant he had to relearn how to walk and talk. The 23-year-old had significant roles in The Breaker Upperers and Pork Pie two years ago and has also had TV roles in Golden Boy and Shortland Street.

In his latest flick, Rolleston plays Freddy, who loses his pizza delivery job. He and best mate Marvin find work with small-time crook Spigg. But the pair botch their first job and find themselves crossing paths with someone even scarier than their boss - uber gangster The Upholsterer, played by Packed to the Rafters' star Rebecca Gibney.


"The script was laugh-out-loud funny, the production team had a great vibe, and I leapt at the chance to act alongside the likes of Rebecca Gibney, Robbie Magasiva and Cohen Holloway," Rolleston tells Spy. "We shared a lot of laughs on set and I'm really grateful to have been a part of it,"

Rebecca Gibney in Lowdown Dirty Criminals, in cinemas from August 20. Photo: Supplied
Rebecca Gibney in Lowdown Dirty Criminals, in cinemas from August 20. Photo: Supplied

Rolleston says the action scenes were really fun to shoot, as the genre was new for him.

"The film has a special type of Kiwi humour that I think will go down well with audiences. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and I hope audiences will leave the cinema with a smile on their faces."

It is 25-year-old Austin's first big-screen role after earning his stripes in theatre. He met director Paul Murphy while studying at Toi Whakaari, New Zealand Drama School and worked on a short film together.

"Once I'd graduated, I auditioned for Lowdown and then, after a recall audition with James, I got a call saying they were keen on me. Working with James was an absolute pleasure, he cracked me up all the time," says Austin.

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The movie, filmed on the mean streets of Wellington, is being released in Australia and New Zealand at the same time. Aussie-based Gibney and Magasiva will fly the flag on one side of the Tasman while Rolleston and the rest of the cast and crew will be at the world premiere at The Embassy Theatre in Wellington on August 16. Nationwide release will be on August 20.