In her very first film, actress Keisha Castle- Hughes earned an Oscar nomination. The film was “Whale Rider,” and she was 12. Now 25, she’s been circling the globe for
almost a year, first on sets in Croatia, Seville and
Belfast for Game of Thrones, the HBO drama
in which she plays a warrior, and then heading to Vancouver for the new Showtime series
Roadie, about life on the road for a band and its
crew. She didn’t have to research that one.
JWM: You’re a road warrior!
Keisha Castle-Hughes: I’m better at living
out of a suitcase now than I am at living out of a
home. Quite often, if I don’t have a huge amount
of time between trips, I don’t even unpack. I’ve got
a summer suitcase and winter suitcase ready to go.
JWM: How do you acclimate to a
KCH: Touristy stuff doesn’t get me very excited.
I much prefer to just walk around and meet
JWM: Do you collect souvenirs?
locals. When I was in Seville, I met this Italian
woman in the street who owns a jazz café
there, and she invited me to the club with a
group of her friends. She spoke Italian, I spoke
English, another girl spoke French, another girl
spoke Spanish. None of us could communicate
verbally, but we had the greatest night ever. We
still keep in contact now, and send emails and
pictures to each other.
KCH: When I was growing up, wherever we
traveled as a family, we’d always buy a musical
instrument. So we grew up with this wonderful cabinet full of kooky guitars and flutes and
drums and shakers and castanets. I’ve tried to
carry on that tradition for my daughter.
I’m a collector of lots of things — knickknacks,
JWM: What’s your favorite travel
poetry and coins — but my friends would all
agree that I collect people as well. And now I’ve
been doing it for so long I’ve got friends in places
all over the world.
KCH: There really is no place like home. New
Zealand in the summer is so special to me.
It’s Christmastime, and I associate that with
barbeques, long days at the beach, swimming in
the ocean, and playing sports at the park with
friends and family. I got to do just that, which
was exactly what I needed after a long year of
traveling and working.
We spent a few days on Waiheke Island,
a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown
Auckland. It’s really untouched; it has an
old-school hippie vibe. I went with a whole
bunch of friends. We swam, collected our own
seafood from the ocean and cooked it on the
barbeque, drank good wine and had good conversation. It was definitely a trip that will stay
in my heart for a very long time. p
The actress enjoys meeting
locals and hunting down an interesting
collectible or two.
Castle-Hughes, left, poses with Angela Stone and the New Zealand Cup at the Riccarton Park Race in 2014. At right, the actor in her Game of Thrones garb.