One of the faces of our Loud Shirt Day campaign, Apii Auva'a-Pukeiti, will soon be hitting our Netflix screens in Season 2 of Sweet Tooth, the story of a boy who’s half human and half deer survives in a post-apocalyptic world with other hybrids.
Nine-year-old Apii plays a porcupine hybrid who uses sign language to communicate and features in all eight episodes in the new season. Apii was fitted with cochlear implants, supported by The Hearing House, around eight years ago.
Sweet Tooth was shot entirely in New Zealand, with filming taking place in Auckland, Waikato and Otago. Apii landed the role after responding to a casting call for young deaf actors and his mum Tofi says his vocals and speech have been extended considerably as a result of his acting debut.
“Apii absolutely loved the experience of being on set,” she says. “He really rose to it, and was a real hit at the studio.
“Everyone looked after each other, and it was a great sense of family. We all still keep in touch with each other.”
Despite now being back at school, Apii, who’s in Year 5 at Ormiston Primary in Flat Bush, Manukau, is keen to carry on with his acting and Tofi says he’s been practising his reading and speech in preparation.
Watch trailer HERE