Rena Owen

Actor, Director, Playwright
As a child, Owen performed traditional Maori songs and dances for tourists. While earning a nursing degree, she continued to perform in theatrical productions including "South Pacific" and "Calamity Jane". In the early ... Read more »
Born: 11/29/1959 in New Zealand

Filmography

Actor (25)

Veronika Decides to Die 2015 (Movie)

Nurse Josephine (Actor)

Hautoa 2014 (Movie)

Grandmother (Actor)

Longmire 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Nemesis Game 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Alyce Kills 2013 (Movie)

Danielle (Actor)

The Well 2013 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Beautiful Life 2009 (Movie)

Sam (Actor)

Rain of the Children 2008 (Movie)

(Actor)

Amusement 2007 (Movie)

Psychiatrist (Actor)

Mee-Shee: The Water Giant 2007 (Movie)

Crazy Norma (Actor)

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 2005 (Movie)

Nee Alavar (Actor)

The Land Has Eyes 2003 (Movie)

(Actor)

Angel 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones 2002 (Movie)

Voice of Taun We (Actor)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence 2001 (Movie)

Ticket Taker (Actor)

Gideon's Crossing 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Soul Assassin 2001 (Movie)

(Actor)

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? 1999 (Movie)

Beth Heke (Actor)

When Love Comes 1999 (Movie)

Katie Keen (Actor)

Dance Me to My Song 1998 (Movie)

(Actor)

I'll Make You Happy 1998 (Movie)

(Actor)

When Love Comes Along 1997 (Movie)

Katie Keen (Actor)

Once Were Warriors 1995 (Movie)

Beth Heke (Actor)

Rapa Nui 1994 (Movie)

Hitirenga (Actor)

Biography

As a child, Owen performed traditional Maori songs and dances for tourists. While earning a nursing degree, she continued to perform in theatrical productions including "South Pacific" and "Calamity Jane". In the early 1980s, Owen moved to London to pursue acting but got sidetracked in the party and drug scene. Arrested for possession of heroin, she served an eight-month sentence in a women's prison. Once released from jail, she concentrated her attention on her acting career, appearing in stage productions. Her first feature role was a small part in Kevin Reynolds' overblown "Rapa Nui" (1994). Her second feature was "Once Were Warriors" (1994; released in the US in 1995), a brutal look at the physical and emotional violence in the lives of working-class Maoris. As Beth, the moral center of the film, Owen delivered a nuanced performance as a woman caught between her traditional culture and her tumultuous marriage to the abusive Jake (Temuera Morrison). Reportedly, the film has become the most successful New Zealand production to date.

EDUCATION

studied nursing

Milestones

2001

Had featured role in "A.I.", directed by Steven Spielberg

1999

Made cameo appearance reprising her role as Beth Heke in the sequel "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?"

1998

Co-starred in "Dance Me to My Song"

1994

Feature film debut, "Rapa Nui"

1994

Breakthrough film role, Beth Heke in "Once Were Warriors" (released in USA in 1995)

Acted in college productions of "South Pacific" and "Calamity Jane"

Arrested for possession of heroin; served eight months in English women's prison

Wrote and starred in stage play "Te Awa I Tahutu"

Moved to London to pursue acting career while in her 20s

As a child, performed traditional Maori songs and dances

Bonus Trivia

.

"On an intellectual level Beth knows Jake's no bloody good. Yet on a deeper, emotional level she can't let go of him. It takes a tragedy or trauma; for me, the trauma was prison. Drugs, relationships, gambling, chocolate--it's the same principle of addiction. But, I'm living proof that 'Once a junkie, always a junkie' is not true!" --Owen quoted in "Warrior Woman" in VILLAGE VOICE, February 28, 1995.

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