Born in Samoa, Robbie moved to New Zealand in 1980, where he discovered that he had a talent for making his schoolmates laugh. He has since gone on to have a varied career as one of New Zealand's best known Polynesian actors. He has starred on stage and…more
Robbie's short film credits include:
(2012) Milk and Honey "Constable Salevao", dir. Marina McCartney
(2011) Tee Party "Sanjay", dir. Michael Beran
In 2010, Robbie was nominated for "Sexiest Man" in the TV GUIDE "Best on the Box People's Choice Awards" for his role of Dr Max Avia on Shortland Street.
After the 2009 tsunami at Samoa, Robbie and his fellow Naked Samoans reunited to do a benefit performance for the Oxfam Tsunami Appeal, to aid those in need in their home country. All had friends and/or family affected by the tsunami. Robbie says of their effort, "Weve decided to put our differences aside, and come together for this cause. We all know people who have been affected by the disaster in Samoa, so this is a way for us to help out."
In his spare time, Robbie says he likes to play golf, exercise, and be a house-boyfriend/father.
Robbie's theatre credits include:
(2011) Othello "Othello", Peach Theatre Company, dir. Jessie Peach
(2008) Where We Once Belonged "Various", Theatre Workshop, dir. Dave Fane & Colin McColl
(2007) My Name Is Gary Cooper "Gary Cooper", Auckland Theatre Company, dir. Roy Ward
(2006) Ladies Night "Wes", Auckland Theatre Co., dir. Oliver Driver
(2002) Ranterstantrums "Joe", Wellington Festival, Downstage, dir. Colin McColl
(2002-3) Naked Samoans NZ, 2003 Edinburgh Festivals
(2001) Black Grace Tour, Dance Company, dir. Niel Iremia
(1998) Sons "Lua", Downstage Theatre, Taki Rua Prods, dir Christian Penny
Heretic "Arviata", Circa Theatre, Int. Festival of the Arts, dir. Ross Jolly
Robbie takes part in Theatresports, which is a competitive improvisation event. He has also taken part in Theatresports competitions for charity.
Robbie's movie Sione's Wedding has the distinction of being the fourth highest grossing New Zealand movie in that country's history at $4 mil, and the dubious honor of being one of the most bootlegged films, as well. It's been estimated that the pirated versions had cost the film at least $500,000 in lost earnings at the cinemas.
Robbie fronted a set of ads by a coalition of New Zealand tourist agencies aimed at bring more Australians across the Tasman Sea.
Robbie has replaced Jamie Oliver as the face of the grocery brand Pam's.
Robbie is a member of the internationally acclaimed Black Grace Dance Company. He's also a good singer.
Robbie is one of several established Kiwi actors involved with the OpenCall 07 online talent search organised by Auckland Theatre Company and NZ Post, looking for the country's most promising young, unknown actors. Robbie and fellow actors Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Damien Harrison and Liesha Ward-Knox all show their own demo auditions to teach the prospective actors how best to do it, and then the prospects upload their own video audition to the site.
In 1998, Robbie won "Best Newcomer" at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for his role in Victor Rodger's play Sons.
Robbie is 6'2", with black hair and brown eyes.
Robbie is a big fan of the Wellington Hurricanes rugby team, since he considers that city to be his home.
Robbie is extremely athletic, and he has done aerobics, basketball, badminton, cycling, boxing, canoing, indoor and outdoor cricket, diving, golf, horseback riding, ice and roller skating/blading, netball, rowing, rugby, running, snooker, snow boarding, soccer, surfing, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, water skiing, and wrestling.
Robbie has been a runway model. He has also acted in commercials, done theatresports, and worked as a receptionist at an ad agency.
Robbie speaks both Maori and Samoan, as well as English.
Robbie is disappointed that he gets so many "beefcake" and "womaniser" roles, but with acting jobs being limited in New Zealand, he takes what's offered. He says he would love to get a role as a bad guy and have to put on a lot of extra weight for it. He did play an Uruk-hai in The Two Towers, but he says that was only a few minutes of nastiness, and he'd love to do two hours' worth.
Robbie is represented professionally by the firm Johnson & Laird Management.
In 2003, Robbie was nominated for "Best Actor" at the AFTA New Zealand Television Awards for his work in the TV show The Strip Series 1.
Robbie is married to Anna Magasiva, and they have two children together, Austin and Sophie.
Robbie has four brothers- Steven, Mike, and the twins Pua and Tanu, as well as one sister, Trina. Pua is also an actor, and says that he was inspired to join the profession from watching Robbie work. And his brother Mike (Miki) is a director.
Robbie: (on joining the cast of "Shortland Street") The brain had been dead for a while and now it's waking up to the fact that it needs to work its ass off to get those lines down. I find it helps if I do it with someone else, my kids often help me out learning lines. The thing that has surprised me most has been how quick it is. I was told it was quick but not as quick as this- that was fast, man.
Robbie: I love acting. There's nothing else I want to do.
Robbie: (on playing Xavier in "The Doves of War") War is something I usually have no interest in, but playing this role made me think about war more than I had before. About being in a situation where you can see what's happening but not do anything about it. I can't comment on what it's like in real life, but can imagine it would be horrible. I did get to live a childhood dream of being in soldier's uniform with a gun though! Doing those scenes brought back childhood memories of playing with sticks, hiding and camouflaging ourselves.
Robbie: (on how people see him after his role in the pool movie "Stickmen") You are always going to have the odd hero coming up and saying 'Hey, you're the stickman, aren't you? Wanna game? You're on.'
Robbie: (on being typecast as "beefcake") I don't like it, although the roles I get end up being that. If it was up to me, and I got thrown scripts left, right and centre and there was beefcake in the script, I would throw it away. But unfortunately we live in a country where there's not much work around, so I just take whatever I'm given. But that term itself, no, I hate it, really loathe it.
Robbie: (on his role in "My Name Is Gary Cooper") It is the best work I have done in my whole career because it's challenging and that's what you want as an actor. It's not just another role where it's, 'Here Robbie, take your shirt off'.
Robbie: (on making the move to Hollywood) You always wonder whether you can make it over there. When the time is right I'll take what I've got and just go over. I don't want to die wondering.