Otherwise he has primarily busied himself in the world of plays and revues, both as scriptwriter, director and actor. Since 1997 he has been employed as a director at Oslo Nye Teater, and was, among other plays, responsible for the critically acclaimed stage version of Elling and Kjell Bjarne.
Næss Began as an actor in theater, film and TV in 1985. Since 1996 he has worked as film director and projectleader at Oslo Nye Teater . In 1999 he debuted with his first movie, Absolutt blåmandag. The success with the movie "Elling" sent Petter Næss to Hollywood. In 2005 he instructed among others Josh Hartnett in the American drama-comedy Mozart and the Whale. In 2007 was he current with the Norwegian comedy Tatt av kvinnen and in 2008 he played kaptein Martin Linge in the movie Max Manus. In 1980 was he a rep assistant on two movies about "Olsenbanden".