In just a few short years, New Zealand actress Thomasin McKenzie has become one of the world’s biggest up-and-coming performers. She has lead roles in two soon-to-be-released blockbusters, with Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho and M. Night Shymalan’s Old. Thomasin is back in New Zealand promoting her latest film The Justice of Bunny King. Re: Journalist Baz Macdonald caught up with her about her career this far, and beyond.
In some ways, Thomasin was destined to be a great performer. She comes from one of New Zealand’s most famous acting families. Her mum Miranda Harcourt was the star of one of New Zealand’s biggest TV shows of the 80’s, Gloss, and has gone on to have an acclaimed career as an acting coach, theatre and film creator alongside her husband, director and writer Stuart McKenzie. Thomasin’s grandmother Kate Harcourt was made a Dame for her contributions to the arts in New Zealand through her work as a performer on stage, screen and radio.
“It is definitely in my blood,” Thomasin says.
“I started off [acting] when I was very young, more as a way for me to earn pocket money so that I could buy Sylvanian Families and Bratz dolls. Then over time I became more passionate about it - about the stories, the storytelling, and the chance to learn so much beyond my typical education.”
Many of her childhood memories are of road trips across New Zealand as her parents toured theatre productions. She says performing was so ingrained that she hadn’t thought of it as a career opportunity, but more as “this is life - this is what my family does”.