Castle-Hughes at a press conference for The Vintner's Luck, September 2009
24 March 1990 |
Donnybrook, Western Australia
|Partner(s)||Bradley Hull (2003–2010)|
Keisha Castle-Hughes (born 24 March 1990) is a New Zealand actress who rose to prominence for playing Paikea "Pai" Apirana in the film Whale Rider. The film was nominated for many awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for which she was at the time the youngest person nominated in the Best Actress category and an award at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Young Actor/Actress, which she won in 2004.
Since she made her film debut, Castle-Hughes has appeared in various films including Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger, Piece of My Heart and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. She also played the main role of the Virgin Mary in the 2006 film The Nativity Story.
Early life 
Castle-Hughes was born on 24 March 1990 in Donnybrook, Western Australia, to a Māori mother, Desrae Hughes, and Tim Castle, an English-Australian father. Her parents, who were never married, later separated. She was 18 months old when her family moved to New Zealand in 1991. She became one of its citizens in 2001. Castle-Hughes has four younger siblings, brothers Rhys (born 21 February 1992), Liam (born 1996) and Quade (born July 2006), and sister Maddisyn (born 2001). Castle-Hughes attended Waiuku Primary School, Bailey Road School, Penrose High School, and Rosehill College, all in Auckland.
In 2003, Castle-Hughes made her debut in the film Whale Rider, in which she played the main role of Paikea Apirana (Pai). Due to not having any previous acting experience, she went directly from her Auckland school classroom to the film set when the shoot began in New Zealand in late 2001. Castle-Hughes received widespread critical acclaim for her performance and the film turned her into an international celebrity. In 2004, she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress at the 76th Academy Awards. Although she did not win the Best Actress award, she became the youngest person nominated in this category at the time and the second Polynesian actress, after Jocelyne LaGarde, to be nominated for an Oscar.
She soon followed the role by appearing in Prince's controversial "Cinnamon Girl" music video and with a shoot in Vanity Fair magazine. In 2004, Castle-Hughes was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In 2005, Castle-Hughes had a small part as Queen Apailana in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In 2006, she portrayed the starring role as the Virgin Mary in The Nativity Story. New York Times critic, A. O. Scott, said that she "seemed entirely unfazed by the demands of playing Mary. She had the poise and intelligence to play the character not as an icon of maternity, but rather as a headstrong, thoughtful adolescent transformed by an unimaginable responsibility." The Christian-themed film earned only $8 million during its opening week, but its box office surged during the week of Christmas,. Overall, it made approximately $44.3 million USD. One critic later speculated: "It may have been harmed by the fact that its leading lady, Keisha Castle-Hughes, was found to be unwed and pregnant just as the movie's publicity campaign began."
In 2008 Castle-Hughes appeared in an Australian comedy-drama film Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger, which was filmed in late 2006. She reunited with New Zealand director Niki Caro for the film adaption of The Vintner's Luck, which had its international premiere in September 2009. She will also have a starring role in Mona's Dream, the story of Mona Mahmudnizhad. In March 2010, Castle-Hughes guest-starred as the Creator in the American weekly series, Legend of the Seeker. She starred in the Japanese horror film Vampire, and she also played a recurring role as Axl's flatmate in The Almighty Johnsons which premiered in 2011. In 2011 Castle-Hughes also played a minor part in the film Red Dog as Rosa the veterinary assistant and wife of Vanno.
Personal life 
In October 2006, it was announced that Castle-Hughes and boyfriend Bradley Hull were expecting a child together. Their daughter, Felicity-Amore Hull, was born on 25 April 2007, one month after Castle-Hughes's 17th birthday. Castle-Hughes and Hull broke up in 2010 after seven years together.
In February 2012, Castle-Hughes's then-boyfriend Michael Graves was arrested and charged with assaulting her as they were driving home from an Oscars party at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland. The charge against Graves was dropped in April due to inconsistent witness accounts. Later in 2012, Castle-Hughes began dating DJ Jonathan Morrison. After six weeks together, the couple became engaged in August 2012. Their marriage took place on Valentines Day 2013.
Castle-Hughes campaigned for Greenpeace as part of the SignOn.org.nz climate campaign in 2009. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key initially admonished her to "stick to acting", but offered a week later to discuss the issues with her over tea after she maintained she knew more about them than he gave her credit for.
In early 2013 she moved with her husband to Los Angeles in the United States to pursue a bigger acting career.
|2005||Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith||Queen of Naboo|
|2006||The Nativity Story||Mary|
|2008||Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger||Sunni|
|2009||A Heavenly Vintage||Celeste|
|2009||Piece of My Heart||Young Kat||TV movie|
|2010||Legend of the Seeker||Maia / The Creator||Episode: "Creator"|
|2011–2012||The Almighty Johnsons||Gaia||Recurring role|
|2012||Rewind||Priya||TV movie, post-production|
|2003||New Zealand Film and TV Awards||Best Actress||Whale Rider||Won|
|Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2004||Academy Awards||Best Actress in a Leading Role||Nominated|
|Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards||Best Young Actor/Actress||Won|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Chlotrudis Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best Breakthrough Performance||Won|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards||Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role – Female||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Breakout Movie Star – Female||Nominated|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actress in an International Film||Won|
|2007||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress||The Nativity Story||Nominated|
|2009||Qantas TV and Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Piece of My Heart||Won|
- "Keisha Castle-Hughes Biography". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- Jonathan Marshall; Stephen Cook (8 October 2006). "From Virgin Mary to mum". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Academy Invites 127 to Membership
- The Virgin Mary as a Teenager With Worries The New York Times. 1 December 2006.
- "The Nativity Story (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2006-12-05.
- Mal Vincent, "Protest strategy: Hate 'Angels & Demons' quietly", McClatchy-Tribune Regional News (16 May 2009).
- For Keisha, the show must go on The Adelaide Advertiser. 23 October 2006.
- Mona's Dream. October 2008.
- A Visit to the Set of 'Vampire' with Star Kevin Zegers
- "Introducing Felicity-Amore Hull – Keisha speaks about her labor, delivery, and new little girl". celebritybabies.people.com }date=8 June 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- "Keisha in Oscar night assault". New Zealand Herald. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Keisha Castle-Hughes' boyfriend charged with assault". 3 News. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Stweard, Ian (13 March 2012). "Keisha's man in court on assault charge" Stuff/Fairfax NZ News.
- "Charge dropped against Keisha Castle-Hughes' boyfriend". 3 News. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Keisha Castle-Hughes engaged". 3 News. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Keisha's wedding shock after six-week romance". New Zealand Herald. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "What the gossip mags say". Stuff. 18 February 2013.
- "Keisha and Key may talk over tea". Dominion Post. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2009.