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We're Here to Help

Feature film released in New Zealand on 8 November 2007.
Produced by South Pacific Pictures.
Released on region 4 dvd in New Zealand March 2008.
Based on the book Be Very Afraid by Dave Henderson.

We're Here to Help website.

Dave Henderson
  Erik Thomson
Kath Harper
  Miriama Smith
Rodney Hide
  Michael Hurst
Steve Arnett
  Jason Hoyt
Lesley Costello
  John Leigh
Doug Johnson
  Stephen Papps
Brian Palliser
  Geoffrey Clendon
Minister of Finance
  Peter Elliott
Max Cathie
  Greg Johnson
Writer & Director
  Jonothan Cullinane
  John Barnett, Paul Davis
Production Designer
  Rob Gillies
Director of Photography
  John Cavill
  David Coulson

Synopsis from the New Zealand Film Commission website

"In February 1994, Christchurch businessman Dave Henderson walked into the Inland Revenue Department. He was not a happy man. His girlfriend had recently been there to collect a refund Dave’s company was owed. An IRD staff member made some suggestive comments to her. Dave told the IRD officer that if he ever talked to one of his employees like that again he would kick his 'fat arse from one end of Cashel Street to the other'.

And so began a saga of Kafkaesque and yet comedic proportions.

But Dave refused to give in. He kept fighting.  He also kept both his sense of humour and his records - of every surreal phone conversation; of every demand; of every piece of paper.  He kept fighting until his battle reached the very highest levels of Government.

And finally, four years after the comedy of errors began, Dave Henderson won.

Dave got his life and his business back together. And in a final ironic two-fingered salute, he bought the building which houses the South Island head office of the IRD.

And renamed it Henderson House."

Michael as Rodney Hide

Behind the Scenes

Michael talks about the transformation into Rodney Hide.

"My head's bald, look I'll show you  . . .

. . . you get one look".

Applying the prosthetic neck.

Putting on the weight belt . . .

. . . and the fat suit.

Rodney Hide, meet Rodney Hide.

The Parliament set.

The two Rodneys in Parliament.

Rodney Hide watches filming.

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WE'RE HERE TO HELP PRESS KIT:  "Michael is quick to acknowledge that he is physically very different to Rodney Hide. 'When they asked me to play the part, I made a joke because it was like the filmmakers thought "Let’s find the person that looks the least like Rodney Hide and cast them",' he laughs".  Read Michael's complete interview here.

Producer Paul Davis talks about the decision to cast Michael as Rodney Hide:  "We chose Michael Hurst because we wanted a really good actor who could bring the right level of energy and a superb performance to the role."  Read the full description of casting Michael here.

SUNDAY STAR-TIMES (30 Septemer 2007):  "Hide, now Act leader, was delighted, then dismayed, when he learnt he was to be immortalised on film by Hurst: 'I thought, that's good because everyone will think I'm hot because Michael Hurst plays me. Then I turned up on the set and he was in a blobby suit.'"


THE CHRISTCHURCH PRESS: "Rodney Hide . . . is the real scene-stealer, played by an unrecognisable, padded and balded Michael Hurst. Needless to say, while Hurst carries off the role with aplomb, it's not a good look for him. . . . the lead acting triptych of Thomson, Smith and Hurst anchors the film with first-rate performances."

LUMIERE READER: "The piece of casting that everyone will talk about is Michael Hurst as Rodney Hide . . . this great actor settles in to the role and nails Hide’s mannerisms."