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Tongan Hollywood actor, John Tui currently visiting Tonga

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 11/09/2017

If you met the movie star though, you wouldn’t guess you were in the company of a celebrity who has starred in many popular Hollywood films, including, Battleship, The Hobbit: Battle of The Five Armies, and Born to Dance.


Although he was born and raised in New Zealand and has been far from Tonga for so long, he was still firmly grounded in his beliefs and values of the Tongan culture and tradition.


He even started with a formal Tongan address or ‘fakataputapu’ before he spoke with Radio Tonga News saying he did not want to disregard the culture and the way of life here in the island.


Speaking about his career and the people he works with, he said it was important to respect the people he worked with but at the same time, not idolize the celebrities as they were just normal human beings like the rest of us.


“For us who have been brought up in a democratic liberal way of thinking. It’s good to have that way of thinking but at the same time we have to pay penance to where we’re from because it keeps us humble. I wish I could just come here and build gyms and facilities to give back to Tonga but hopefully God in his grace will allow me to do that. I just want the youth of Tonga to aspire to something because the world is bigger. I think through my travels I’ve actually been a bit humbler and wiser for it. But being here I’m enriched in culture.”


The actor expressed his interest in giving back to the people of Tonga and in being a good model for Tonga to the Western countries. Tu’i clearly had not let the fame get to him and he believes others who put Tonga on the map all around the world have a responsibility to their Tongan heritage, saying if you take pride in being a Tongan, your actions have to speak louder than your words.


© Radio and Television Tonga News