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NZ actor in Bollywood films

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James Morcan.
James Morcan.

Hot off two soon-to-be released Indian-Australian feature films, New Zealand actor James Morcan is looking forward to a well-deserved break.

Not only did Morcan play starring roles in Love You Krishna and My Cornerstone, he also wrote the screenplays which incorporated English and Hindi.

Both films were produced and directed by Indian-Aussie filmmaker Stanley Joseph, of World Pictures Australia, and were inspired by many of Joseph’s own experiences as an Indian migrant in Australia.

They are quirky romantic comedies exploring Hinduism, Christianity and multiculturalism.

In Peter Jackson style, the films were shot simultaneously - a decision which Morcan says nearly broke the production team. "Shooting two movies at once is an extremely rare undertaking and everybody in our incredibly talented crew was stretched to the limit. To be honest, we almost bit off more than we could chew," says Morcan.

"I probably only averaged three or four hours sleep a night over the last few months," Morcan (34) says from his residence in Sydney, Australia. "There was literally no time to think. But in a strange way that’s kind of freeing for an actor as you don’t get too cerebral about the process."

Morcan was actively involved in every single scene of the shoot, working in front of and behind the camera, and wearing multiple hats. "That sort of on-set involvement was tough but necessary to complete the mammoth task. And I learnt so much about the nuts and bolts of filmmaking. In fact, it was like going to film school."

As for his roles in the films, Morcan is remaining tight-lipped. "Let’s just say I play an enigmatic role in both stories. Other than that I cannot say too much about my characters as they involve big twists in each film. If I mentioned who I actually play in either movie, it would ruin the surprise for the audience."

Morcan’s previous films have screened at cinemas in Italy, Australia and France. His career highlights include roles in the Australian independent feature film The Pawn and acting alongside Russell Crowe in Ben Hur: The Stadium Spectacular, at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium. He was also executive producer of the recently released New Zealand feature film Desired, which premiered at Cannes Marche du Film in France.

Aside from his film work, Morcan is also a novelist and co-writes with his Bay of Plenty-based father Lance Morcan. The pair have written four published books including the controversial thriller series The Orphan Trilogy and the historical adventure Fiji: A Novel. Their production company, Morcan Motion Pictures, is also developing feature film adaptations of the novels.

Love You Krishna and My Cornerstone were shot in Mumbai, India and NSW, Australia and are currently in post-production. They are expected to be released internationally later this year.

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