Real Life

‘Boy’ star James Rolleston seriously injured in car crash

The Kiwi actor and star of the beloved New Zealand film ‘Boy’ has been seriously injured in a car crash near Opotiki, according to multiple reports.
James Rolleston

James Rolleston, 19, has been airlifted to Tauranga Hospital following a serious car crash, after the vehicle he was in hit Otara Bridge at around 10.30pm last night.

The actor is now awake and surrounded by his family, with agent Tim Gordon telling the New Zealand Herald that “at the moment, he is in a holding pattern”.

“He is alright. They are making him comfortable and he is responding to all the things he needs to respond to,” he said.

James pictured with his The Dark Horse co-star Cliff Curtis. Photo: Getty

A second person in the car also received minor injuries.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board released a statement about the accident which confirmed that James had been airlifted to hospital.

“Actor James Rolleston, 19 years old from Opotiki, was this morning airlifted to Tauranga Hospital following a car accident. No further details will be released and the family will not make any comment.”

Watch James in his debut performance as ‘Boy’ in the trailer below.

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James rose to fame after his star turn in Taika Waititi’s smash hit Boy, which was released in 2010. The movie earned rave reviews for its uniquely New Zealand twist on a typical coming-of-age story, with many critics praising James for his performance as the lead character.

“A film like this would have little chance without the right casting, and James Rolleston is so right as Boy, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else,” critic Roger Ebert wrote after seeing the film in 2012, while the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Stephen Rea wrote that Boy was “balanced out by Rolleston’s smart, soulful performance”.

James followed up his debut with two more feature film roles in 2014, starring opposite Cliff Curtis in The Dark Horse as a gifted teenager set to be initiated into a gang, and The Dead Lands, where he played a young Maori warrior bent on seeking revenge.

His latest film, The Rehearsal, premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival on Saturday.

Our hearts go out to James and his family during this difficult time.

Watch James talking about fame and how he stays grounded in the video below. Story continues.

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