Leo| Auckland

“I made someone different from me feel included the other day. It’s a little bit cliché, but I helped a homeless person out. They dropped a box of their belongings and I picked them up and helped them get out of the rain at Britomart Station.

On children…

I’m an identical twin, so a memorable childhood moment would be my first day at school. I was picked on by a bunch of other kids, and my twin brother came and helped me out in the school yard. That’s probably one of my more memorable childhood memories, slightly horrific childhood moments, but definitely memorable.

Being a twin is like having a best friend and a worst enemy, because you’ve got someone you can turn to at any time, who knows you like the back of their hand, who you can have conversations with without really speaking. They can also say one word and it will push your buttons and make you extremely angry. So they know how to play you like a pack of cards. So, it’s a blessing and a little bit of a curse, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I was brought up in the north of England in a mining town called Macclesfield. It’s a complete contrast to Auckland; very dark, very cold. It’s much different to this beautiful sunny tropical place that we live in. My old man retired and wanted to just get away from the hell hole that was England under Thatcher. New Zealand is a beautiful place, untouched and just a real change of scene.

I think as someone who kind of came from another country, I think it’s important to have a community to support you during your childhood. I think it’s easier to be isolated and I think you’ve got to be open and giving as a person, and hopefully give something back to the community to receive something. I think nowadays we can get quite isolated as a community through media etcetera, and I think if there’s a ground for some sort of community, then I think that’s always going to benefit you as a child.

On gender…

The last time I was expected to follow traditional male roles was in a supermarket. I guess I’d take it as a good thing. There was a guy who was talking back to a checkout operator and telling her that it she wasn’t being nice, she wasn’t doing her job properly. So I felt like I had to stick up for her in some way. I guess that’s a traditional male thing to do. Not many people were kind of acknowledging the situation, so I thought I’d try and help this woman out, and try and stick up for her.

I’ve experienced a bit of gender inequality around the film industry, which is where I’ve worked. I think a lot of opportunities go to men. So I think I’ve been quite lucky as a white male to have opportunities that women wouldn’t normally get. Fortunately, I think that’s kind of changing, but I think it’s been like that for awhile so it’s good to see that changing now. I support female filmmakers and I try and support female filmmakers and I’ve tried to give them an opportunity to realise their projects hopefully.”

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