Published: 18th April 2019
Actor Shane Rangi tells us about the educational opportunities in Wellington and the next Avatar movie he is a part of
Shane Rangi recently visited Mumbai as a part of the Study Wellington and Education New Zealand delegation who were there to create awareness on the educational opportunities
Though Shane Rangi admits that he was never academically inclined, his favourite book growing up was C S Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. So it was a happy coincidence when the NZ actor and stuntman got to play the role of minor antagonist General Otmin. “It was a real career highlight,” admits the actor who found his calling in the film industry. He recently visited Mumbai as a part of the Study Wellington and Education New Zealand delegation who were there to create awareness on the educational opportunities in Wellington, New Zealand’s creative capital, and help students discover their calling. Ask him how his trip was and he gushes, “What a fantastic time I had in Mumbai! The people are lovely, the culture is rich with tradition, the food divine and the tuktuk drivers are extremely talented.” In a chat with the 50-year-old, who has been also a part of movies like King Kong, The Lord of the Rings series and so on, he tells us about education, the city he loves and his upcoming movies, including the next Avatar film. Excerpts:
What makes New Zealand the top destination to study, especially for Indian students?
New Zealand’s education system really prepares people to think critically about the world around them. It's actually been ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as one of the leading place in the world for preparing students for the future of work. It’s a competitive world out there so it's important to know that the education you get will stand you above your peers if you work hard.
Also, about a third of the people in Wellington were born overseas, so immediately, that makes it a diverse and welcoming place. We’ve got really high-quality education options. All our universities are ranked in the top 1.3% in the world. But for Indian students in particular, it’s a great place to raise a family. And the fact that Wellington has the highest average salaries is pretty attractive too.
Education is seen as a gateway to better jobs, so in that sense, would you describe New Zealand as a land of opportunities?
Education is an investment in a student’s future, so it’s important to know that you’re going to get a return on that investment. Wellington’s economy is really growing and so is our need for talented people, particularly in technology and professional services. That being said, nothing is easy and you have to work hard to stand out. If people do that in Wellington, the opportunities are great.
Wellington is my home and the city I love. Telling other students about the opportunities for them in New Zealand fits really well with that
Shane Rangi, Actor and stuntmen | (Pic: Education New Zealand)
What's next for you, in terms of movies and projects?
We’re about to start shooting the next Avatar film and then, there are multiple sequels planned beyond that. The first Avatar movie really pushed the technical boundaries of film. Because we have a really strong talent pool in creative technology now, there are so many exciting businesses popping up in the Augmented and Virtual Reality space. I love that area!
You've mentioned that you'd like to act in Bollywood movies. Is there anything particular that fascinates you about this industry?
I really love the vibrancy and colour of Bollywood movies. It’s so different to the stuff I usually work in, but I don’t really follow any of the actors.
What's your memorable stunt?
My most memorable stunt was on King Kong where I was doubling for the character Hayes. Hayes is standing in front of Kong’s cave when he comes out, picks him up and throws him across the cave, into the wall on the other side and Hayes plummets to his death. So, why is this memorable you ask? Well, I don’t like doing high falls as I've broken my neck twice already