NIDA alumni spotlight: Remy Hii on his film and television career and future projects
Remy Hii (Acting, 2011) currently stars in Celeste Barber's Netflix series Wellmania. Since graduating from NIDA, Remy has appeared in a string of hits including Crazy Rich Asians, Spiderman: Far From Home and TV series Marco Polo and Harrow. His next project is Scarygirl, Remy's very first animated feature film starring alumna Anna Torv (Acting, 2001). It will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in June. To learn more about Remy's journey, read our interview with him.
NIDA: Can you tell us about your journey in the entertainment industry since graduating from NIDA?
Remy Hii: My journey post NIDA began when I found out I was cast in a major international blockbuster film alongside Bradley Cooper the day after showcase. I was flown out to LA for pre-production, where I met the director and cast. Unfortunately, before the shoot began, the Global Financial Crisis impacted the movies' budget and they pulled the plug. It was a really good lesson to learn early on in my career– that nothing is guaranteed, but resilience and patience will pay off in the end.
I worked part-time in retail for the next few months until I landed my first leading role in the SBS miniseries Better Man. At that point I was dying to prove myself. I worked hard for that role and it's one I'm most proud of.
NIDA: What do you think sets NIDA apart from other drama schools, and how has your NIDA training helped you in your career?
RH: What set NIDA apart for me is how we got to work across disciplines with other students from all the other departments to put shows up. We were encouraged to work closely together – it created an intimate understanding of everyone’s job in the industry, which is invaluable. It also creates bonds that last a lifetime, and years later it's the best feeling to start work on a new play with the same people I worked with on second year Shakespeare.
NIDA: You've worked on a range of projects from theatre to film and television. What do you find most challenging and rewarding about each medium?
RH: I started my career on stage, and it's a special place. No other medium will work you as hard, but it also teaches you the most. There's no hiding on stage, no second takes. They say television is a writer’s medium, film is a director’s medium, but theatre is for actors.
NIDA: You recently starred in the hit Netflix series, Wellmania. Can you tell us about your experience working on the show and how you prepared for the role?
RH: Wellmania was a really fast paced shoot — we had so many locations and setups to cram into a shoot day we had to arrive on set prepared and ready to hit the ground running from take one — which was as exciting as it was terrifying. Celeste Barber was incredible to work with, as was NIDA alumni Genevieve Mooy (Acting,1982) who plays my mother-in-law. We were often rehearsing and workshopping scenes up until the cameras rolled, it was an incredibly collaborative environment
NIDA: Are there any particular roles or genres you're interested in exploring in the future?
RH: I love sci-fi. Put me in an astronaut suit and shoot me into space!
NIDA: What advice would you give to aspiring actors who are looking to follow in your footsteps?
RH: Learn your lines, don't be late, always help your friends with their self-tapes, don't compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don't forget to play.
NIDA: Lastly, can you give us a sneak peek into any upcoming projects you have in the works?
RH: I play a giant bunny rabbit in my first animated movie this year, which I'm really excited about. We have the most amazing cast – Sam Neill, Jillian Nguyen, Anna Torv, Tim Minchin, Debora Mailman, Dylan Alcott are all in it. It's a wild ride!
Scarygirl premiers in June 2023 at Sydney Film Festival and will be released in October in Australian cinemas.