Beulah Koale, the 24-year-old former Shorty St actor and star of low-budget Kiwi movie, The Last Saint (2014), can now add ‘lead Hollywood role’ to his list of acting accolades, having announced today that he will star in the in the Oscar-tipped DreamWorks movie Thank You For Your Service.
The film follows a group of American soldiers who return to the United States from Iraq. Haunted by their horrific memories of war, they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result.
Koale, who grew up in South Auckland and is of Samoan descent, will play the role of an American-Samoan soldier suffering from the condition.
“This is an opportunity and a dream come true for a Pacific Island actor from South Auckland,” he told SCOUT in an exclusive interview, “and one that I am going to fully embrace and make the most of.”
The young talent beat hundreds of actors from around the world to win the role by staying true to his humble roots. “‘I’m not really scared of you or the process,’” he told producers. “’I’m just going to do my thing. I’m going to be me.’”
“I dropped my American accent and spoke Kiwi, and the producers were amazed.”
Filming for Thank You For Your Service begins in February 2016 in the U.S. and will take three months. The movie is adapted from David Finkel’s 2013 book of the same name.
With fellow former Shorty St actor 18-year-old KJ Apa starring in the upcoming DreamWorks movie A Dog’s Purpose, 24-year-old Koale is the latest of many Kiwis making a mark in Hollywood.
Both boys - who are represented by Auckland talent agency Red11 Management - also star in TV2’s upcoming family drama The Cul de Sac.