Needling for roles


There aren’t too many blokes who can say they’ve given Hugh Jackman the evil eye and nearly ripped Nicole Kidman’s dress off – but Greg Dorn can.

When he’s not sticking needles into patients, the colourful Queenstown acupuncturist is on the lookout for his next role as a movie extra.

Dorn caught the film bug when rubbing shoulders with Hollywood superstars Jackman and Kidman in last year’s World War Two-era epic Australia.

In a tense dance hall scene, he’s captured for posterity as an army officer giving a bad stare to Jackman, who plays a rugged cattleman called The Drover.

“I tagged along to the auditions in Sydney with my partner Sandi who is a trained actress and we both got small parts in the film,” Dorn says.

“When Australia came out, I couldn’t believe it when there I was glaring straight at Hugh Jackman.”

Dorn admits things didn’t go quite so smoothly with Kidman, who stars as British toff Lady Sarah Ashley.

“Nicole was wearing a spectac­ular dress with a flowing train behind it and as the cameras were rolling, I accidentally stood on it and almost tore the thing off her back,” Dorn sighs.

“The scene had to be re-shot but fortunately no one spotted it was me who had caused it.”

Englishman Dorn also had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role in Jackman’s follow-up flick Wolverine, filmed in Sydney and Queenstown over late-2008 and early this year.

His bit was shot in Sydney before he moved to the Wakatipu to live at Arthurs Point with partner Sandi Murphy and their one-year-old son Jasper.

Working mainly from Queenstown Chiropractic and Physiotherapy clinic in Gorge Road, he’s one of three traditionally-trained acupuncturists in the resort and has advanced qualifi­cations gleaned in China.

He also teaches yoga at Pulse gym.

Dorn, 41, practised in London for 10 years where he used acupuncture techniques to help desperate drug addicts and alcoholics.

“That was a real eye-opener as I was partly based at a halfway house for addicts and some were just coming out of prison,” he explains.

“As well as disorders like insomnia and anxiety, some had other health problems related to their drug use, and acupuncture can be a big help.

“It could be a bit hairy at times though and I remember one patient who carried a cane that I later found out concealed a sword.

“He was extremely paranoid and thought the fire sprinklers on the ceiling were cameras and someone was filming his every move.

“I shouldn’t have been left alone with him as he was dangerous, but fortunately he was happy with the treatment.”
Dorn – also a black belt in the Japanese martial art Aikido – landed up in Sydney in 2004 after falling in love with the city on a world trip a few years beforehand.

There he also fell for Queenstown-raised Sandi who was working as a yoga instructor.

“We decided to come to the Wakatipu because Sandi is a local girl, we had a baby on the way and it felt like the right move.

“Another good thing about being in Queenstown is that plenty of movies, TV shows and commercials get filmed here and one of the first things I did was sign up with a local talent agency as I’d love to do more stuff as an extra.

“It’ll be hard to top my experiences with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman but you never know.”