Career

Girl you need to know: Up-and-coming actress Luciane Buchanan

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What’s your story?

I am a 23 year old, half Tongan and Kiwi actor, born and raised in Auckland and I have recently finished my Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Psychology at the University of Auckland.

How did you get your first break in acting?

I was 17 when I first signed with my awesome agent (who I am still with now) and my first gig was in the same year the tele-feature Billy (2011), where I played the great Billy T James’ daughter.

Tell us about your current gig in Filthy Rich…

I play Brady Truebridge’s teenage daughter Kennedy. This season, Kennedy is on a journey to finding herself, searching for the other side of her family that she’s never met. With this she wants to move away from the extravagant Truebridge world to find a sense of normality.  All this sparks conflict with her mother and girlfriend Grace. This season was a lot of fun to shoot and it’s definitely racier and more scandalous than ever.

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When did you realise that being an actor was your dream?

I guess it was always there for me, I don’t really remember a time where it wasn’t something I wanted to do. I was a 90s square eyed kid and always had a sense of play, so naturally I wanted to do what I saw everyday on TV. I always thought I’d be too shy to ever do anything about it but I am so happy I have. I think the moment I fell in love with it was on Billy 6 years ago now, which was my first experience on set.

If you could choose any role to play a television show or movie, what would it be and why?

That is so hard, I’m loving all the complex badass female roles in TV like, Lagertha from Vikings, Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale and all the characters Tatiana Maslany plays in Orphan Black. I’m really lucky with the next characters I’m playing this year – I love them in two completely different ways. I think for me, characters with heart and an evolving journey in a story that I care about are the roles I want to be playing.

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Who is your career inspiration?

Before I would say the obvious MERYL STREEP! I mean who wouldn’t, but I love most of the female New Zealand actors that I’ve worked with briefly over the years; Miriama Smith, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Theresa Healey, Jay Saussey, Antonia Prebble, Morgana O’Reilly and more recently Miranda Harcourt, Nicola Kawana, Chelsea Crayford-Preston and Rachel House. They are all so talented, down to earth, intelligent actors and as a young female new-ish to the industry they are very inspiring.

What advice do you have for aspiring actors who are looking for to get their foot in the door?

Just do it. Don’t wait for it to come to you, the more you put into it you will get back (like anything else). Make your own work if jobs aren’t coming in. Learn, learn, learn. Jump in the deep end because it is rewarding, expect hard work and fun times.

What does being a millennial mean to you?

Waiting for toast seems like an age and I won’t be buying a house in Auckland anytime soon! No, for me although we live a crazy time right now with everything that is happening in the world, one thing about being a millennial I do appreciate is the opportunities. It’s so huge and I think we forget how lucky we have it (especially in Aotearoa). It’s so cool watching friends and people I grew up with living their dreams. The opportunities I’ve had career wise might not have been there for someone like me back in the day. To be a young educated Tongan woman that gets to live the way I want, I mean it’s pretty cool and I get to own it. Also, my views, my voice and the things that I know would be very different, so I think we are privileged in that way.

You can catch Luciane doing her thing in the new season of Filthy Rich, on air with TV2 on 11th July at 8.30 pm

Photos: Supplied
Interview: Skye Ross

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