The 27-year-old, who played Carlyle in the Film Raro movie ‘The Offshore Pirate’, said he has been busy working since the film’s debut screenings, and has yet to get his friends’ reactions – or those of his new fans.
“The premiere was really embarrassing, but in hindsight it was cool. I anticipate getting a lot of stick (from my friends),” he said.
Olah never auditioned for the role – he was approached by the writers and producers of the film, Stone Brothers Rob and Webster, after someone unknown to Olah suggested him for the part.
“I wasn’t going to do it. I said thanks but no – I was too busy (with work). But they kept asking, and they finally convinced my dad.”
Olah, whose father owns Timberland, now runs the business day-to-day. During the two weeks that he was working on the movie, his father picked up the extra work.
“Dad was really cool about it,” said Olah, who was born and raised in the Cooks. His mother is a Cook Islander, while his father was born in Hungary and raised in Australia.
Working on ‘The Offshore Pirate’ meant long hours, but Olah said it was well worth it.
“It was amazing. It was such a cool change from everyday life. At school they tell you to find a career that you really love – I don’t think I really understood that until I met these guys. They have so much passion for what they do.”
He said Film Raro co-organiser Julie Smith has offered to help him sign up for an agency in New Zealand, but unless something comes along, he’s not planning on pursuing acting as a career.
“I loved the experience, but it’s a lot of work. And you can’t just up and take off (from your job). I have to stay here and work, and help my parents,” said Olah, who said he likes to spend his leisure hours at home. “I go out sometimes, but I prefer quiet to loud music.”
Olah said he and the other members of the cast, including co-star Joyana Meyer, had no acting experience before Film Raro.
“But (the USA film crew) were so good at what they do, they made it easy. They said ‘Just be yourself’.”
Rob Stone said Olah was “an absolute charm” who was easy-going to work with.
“He was as comfortable in his role as an actor as he is in his role at Timberland.”
Stone said Olah never mentioned wanting to act full-time, but Film Raro could expose him to the Hollywood world.
“His future as a Hollywood actor depends less on his ability as an actor than it does on the legs of our film.”
But Stone said Film Raro is more about promoting the Cook Islands than sending its actors overseas.
“Our focus is on bringing Hollywood to the Cook Islands, not the other way around. While I’d heard of the Cook Islands (before Film Raro), I had no familiarity with it whatsoever. It’s remarkably unknown in the US, even in the most sophisticated and widely travelled circles.”
Olah said Film Raro was an inspiring experience for everyone involved.
“I think this opened everybody’s eyes to what’s possible, and what’s possible within themselves,” he said.