Rena Owen

Rena Owen

Highest Rated: 93% Once Were Warriors (1994)

Lowest Rated: 18% The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

Birthday: Jul 22, 1962

Birthplace: Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Rena Owen was a New Zealand actress of Maori descent who did her part to bring Maori culture to the world at large through her work in theatre, television, and film. Born on July 22, 1962 in Moerewa, NZ, Owen was raised Catholic in Northland, on the Bay of Islands. Her love of acting was present from the beginning: as a child, she often performed with local Maori cultural groups, and was active in drama club while in high school. After graduation, Owen trained as a nurse at Auckland Hospital for ten years. Once she received her nurse's qualifications, she decided to move to London. After a few years of working as a nurse, however, Owen realized that it was not where her true passion was, and decided to take acting classes. She trained at the Actors Institute in London for much of the 1980s, and soon became a fixture in British theatre. Owen appeared in plays at the Royal Shakespeare Theater, the Elephant Theater, and the Edinburgh Festival, among others. In 1989, Owen returned to New Zealand, where she became an active participant in the TV and theater communities, often choosing projects that focused on her Maori heritage. She brought that heritage to the big screen in 1994 with the domestic drama "Once Were Warriors" (1994). Owen played the matriarch of a Maori family, the Hekes, as they battled with poverty, alcoholism, domestic violence, and each other. The film received rapturous acclaim when it was released, and it often tops lists of the best New Zealand films. Owen became a popular leading lady in New Zealand film after that, turning in memorable performances in such films as "Savage Play" (1995), "Dance Me to My Song" (1998), and "When Love Comes Along" (1998). In 1999, Owen starred in a sequel to "Once Were Warriors" entitled "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?" (1999), but the film paled in comparison to the original. Following a small role in Steven Spielberg's dystopian futuristic drama "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" (2001), that director recommended Owen to his friend, George Lucas. Thus, Owen became part of the galaxy far, far away, when she voiced Taun We in the second prequel, "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002). Lucas enjoyed working with Owen so much that he brought her back to play an entirely different character, Nee Alavar, in the final prequel, "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005). Following that, Owen mostly stuck to small New Zealand indies and TV appearances for the next few years. She could last be seen co-starring as Helen in the thriller series "Siren" (Freeform, 2018-).

Highest rated movies

Once Were Warriors
Escape and Evasion
The Well
Ocean of Pearls
The Last Witch Hunter

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
80% 71% Escape and Evasion Unknown (Character) - 2019
No Score Yet 33% Out of the Shadows Writer - 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet Asomatous Mordeya (Character) - 2017
18% 43% The Last Witch Hunter Glaeser (Character) $27.4M 2015
75% No Score Yet The Well Claire (Character) - 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Spout Oma (Character),
Screenwriter
- 2009
No Score Yet 50% Veronika Decides to Die Nurse Josephine (Character) - 2009
38% 71% Ocean of Pearls Anna Berisha (Character) - 2008
No Score Yet 26% Amusement Psychiatrist (Character) - 2008
No Score Yet 39% Mee-Shee: The Water Giant "Crazy" Norma (Character) - 2005
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Land Has Eyes Warrior Woman (Character) - 2004
No Score Yet 44% Nemesis Game Emily Gray (Character) - 2003
No Score Yet No Score Yet Pledge of Allegiance Maria Macintyre (Character) - 2003
No Score Yet 18% Soul Assassin Karina (Character) - 2001
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Mary Kay Letourneau Story: All-American Girl Soona Fualaau (Character) - 2000
No Score Yet No Score Yet What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? Beth Heke (Character) - 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet I'll Make You Happy Mickie (Character) - 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dance Me to My Song Rix (Character) - 1998
No Score Yet 54% When Love Comes Katie (Character) $3.2K 1998
93% 95% Once Were Warriors Beth Heke (Character) $1.3M 1994

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under Judge 2021
No Score Yet 90% Siren Helen Hawkins (Character) 2018-2020
65% 93% The Orville Heveena (Guest Star) 2017
88% 92% Longmire Medicine Woman (Guest Star) 2014-2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Straits Kitty Montebello (Character) 2012
60% 78% Prison Break SHU C.O. (Guest Star) 2009
No Score Yet 90% Angel Unknown (Guest Star) 2002
50% No Score Yet Gideon's Crossing Unknown (Guest Star) 2001
No Score Yet No Score Yet Adrenalin Junkies Macy Fields (Character) 1996-1998

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