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Lani Tupu

Multi-talented Lani John Tupu has two major roles in the prestigious Saturn Award-winning TV series Farscape. He is the cranky, unpredictable Captain Crais, and the voice of Pilot, the ship’s navigator. Lani is also in the international, critically acclaimed Australian film Lantana which won the AFI (Australian Film Institute) awards for Best Australia Film of the year in 2001 and which picked up no less than seven major awards.

Lani was classically trained in New Zealand Drama School (Toi Whakaari). After graduating, he worked steadily on stage in Auckland at Theatre Corporate. His colleagues at this theatre included Michael Hurst of Xena and Hercules fame. His second boss and Artistic Director at Mercury Theatre in Auckland was also none other than Jonathan Hardy, who is the voice of Rygel in Farscape.

He then landed the title role of a doctor in Country GP for two seasons on national television before leaving for Australia, in 1985. The idea was to branch out across “the big pond,” and see what fame and fortune might bring. It was a decision that he has not regretted. “If I hadn’t left NZ,” he says, “I wouldn’t be flying around in space with a wacky and wonderful bunch of misfits, such as the Farscape crew, and even more so, meeting an equally wild and wacky bunch of sci-fi fans. My world has certainly expanded; it really is a long way from Kansas, Toto!”

Lani’s screen film credits include Lantana, The Punisher, Liquid Bridge and his television credits include Farscape, The Lost World, Green Sails, Mission Impossible, Tales of the South Seas, Flipper (with Jessica Alba), Time Trax, Stingers, Grass Roots, Police Rescue and Tanker Incident, to name a few.

His last stage appearance was in Australia was in the spring of 2003 with the play Away by Michael Gow. In April of 2006, he appeared in the play Anna in the Tropics.