Craig Parker was a quiet, home-loving actor from the clean, green land of New Zealand. Not that much different from a Hobbit, except taller and without the hairy toes. To maintain his need for clothes, shoes and chardonnay, Craig played numerous roles in theatre, film and television. Life was good. Unfortunately, after playing demi-gods, Bellerophon in Xena and Lucius in Young Hercules, Craig’s ego went mad and he started insisting on only playing immortal characters. Thankfully, Mr. Peter Jackson took pity, stuck a blond wig on him and cast him as Haldir in Lord of the Rings. And so he would have lived happily ever after, had not he pushed in front of Mr Jackson in the lunch queue and, strangely, that very afternoon, the script changed to have Haldir lead a troupe of elves into Helms Deep only to suffer an urk-hai axe in the back and a slow, lingering death in the arms of Aragorn. Craig currently lives in London where the shoes are fantastic. (*note* Craig is currently back in New Zealand)
Craig’s Shortland Street Trading Card 1995
Star Sign: Scorpio
Hobbies: Swimming, sailing, eating and playing
Favourite music: David Bowie, Loni Anderson (This has to be a typo on the card and is probably meant to be Lori Anderson), REM
Favourite Movie: The Hunger
Favourite Actor: John Hurt, Vanessa Redgrave
Favourite Book: The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Favourite Item Of Clothing: My boots
Favourite Food: Indian
Craig’s profile from Speakers New Zealand
Craig Parker was born November 12th, 1970 in Suva on the island of Fiji, but moved to New Zealand with his parents as a child.
“In a decision I can only put down to a hurried, late night flight and too many gins,” Craig remembers, “my parents decided to settle in Glenfield. Here, the story might very well have ended. Me, doomed to a life of suburban mediocrity, married with 2.4 children, with only the remains of a fading tan, my fire extinguished forever. However, Destiny, she moves in mysterious ways.”
These mysterious ways have led Craig to become one of New Zealand’s most popular actors. At the age of nineteen he started out on a TV show called Hot Shots directed by Steve La Hood. He then gained more experience, working on various TV- and theatre-productions, such as Macbeth (1991), directed by none other than Hercules’ co-star Michael Hurst, and the NZ-series Gloss (1990).
Since 1987 Craig has also been involved in Theatresports, proving his talent for improvisation and stand-up comedy performance. His engagement with Theatresports lasted for ten years.
His big breakthrough came in 1992, when he was cast as “Guy Warner” for the popular New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street. Craig, who also speaks French, remained a core-cast member of the show for four years, winning the New Zealand audience’s sympathy.
Afterwards he appeared in several episodes of the internationally renowned TV-shows Xena – Warrior Princess and Young Hercules.
Moreover, Craig worked on radio-plays (Ashleys World I & II and Caffeine Comedy/News in Briefs, both 1996 – 1997), which eventually brought him in touch with Peter Jackson, with whom he worked on recordings for The Lord Of The Rings, lending his voice to the character of Frodo.
In the screen adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s popular books, however, Craig – despite his dark hair and complexion – was cast as “Haldir”, one of Lothlorien’s blond and fair elves. His role in the first two parts of the Trilogy finally brought him to international attention.
It can be expected that his newly won fame will not change Craig as a private person. He already has experienced the fact that the press sometimes tends to alter stories and quotes as they see fit.
” A quote can be made to mean anything and in their photo sections there’s a lot of innuendo. When that first happens you worry about how people who don’t know the situation will read it, how your family will be affected by it”, he says.
This is why, as Craig puts it, he handles the media with a good deal of “healthy distrust”.
” It really pays to keep your private self for the people you like and love. It does me no favours at all to reveal my personal life to people who read magazines.”
At heart, Craig always remained a comedian. He kept showing his skills as an entertainer in shows like Scared Scriptless (1999) as well as various comedy debates, and also continuously worked for both stage and screen. He was to be seen in theatre alongside Michael Hurst and Oliver Driver in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (2001). Fans of soap operas can currently enjoy watching Craig playing the role of “Alistair Kingsley” in Mercy Peak. He most recently was cast as the narrator for the stage production of the cult-musical The Rocky Horror Show.
In February 2003 Craig spent 16 days in Kathmandu on TVNZ’s Intrepid Journeys.
He has been the MC at the biggest and smallest of events and continues to be in great demand for his overall ability to make any audience feel at home.
From the Great Comedy Debate 1999 (It is better to marry than to burn)
“Fiji blazed on, words coup were still pronounced with a ‘p’ and used to keep chickens in it.” “What need did we have of marriage, we had tans.” “Suddenly the cry of sanctity of marriage echoed across the land. Banished were the ‘Young and the Restless’, ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’. And so, ‘The Days of Our Lives’ were changed forever. Coincidentally enough, it was the same time my parents decided to come to New Zealand. In a decision I can only put down to a hurried, late night flight and too many gins, my parents decided to settle in Glenfield. Here, the story might very well have ended. Me, doomed to a life of suburban mediocrity, married with 2.4 children, with only the remains of a fading tan, my fire extinguished forever. However, destiny, she moves in mysterious ways. For it was here I met my great life teacher, my wise woman, my mentor, Rachel Hunter.” “We settled into our classroom, remedial woodwork, I working on my spice rack, Rachel working out what a ruler did.”
Craig Parker, Great Comedy Debate 1999
Craig’s profile from Theatre Sports
Craig is a very popular TS performer and was a member of the famed Auckland Champs team, Tuatara Park. He’s been onstage in numerous ATC productions and he’s also a veteran television actor. He was the much loved Guy Warner in Shortland Street and people wept at his departure. He’s much sought after to MC public and corporate events and has traveled throughout the country participating in celebrity debates. He has just finished putting in a tropical garden in his backyard complete with whistling tree frogs.