WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – Mungau Dain had never thought of acting before he starred in the Oscar-nominated film Tanna. He got the role because his elders decided he was the best-looking guy in their traditional village of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
They would later call him their answer to Brad Pitt.
Dain died Saturday in the capital, Port Vila, after suffering a leg infection that was not treated quickly. He was in his mid-twenties.
Martin Butler, co-director of "Tanna," said Dain was not a natural actor, but was very enthusiastic, learning fast, and at the end did a fabulous performance. The film won a number of awards, including two at the Venice Film Festival.
Dain is survived by his wife Nancy and two children. His village Yakel on the island of Tanna is still in a traditional two-week mourning period.
Jimmy Joseph, cultural director of Tanna Island, said that Dain was calm, humble, and respected in Yakel, where he had decided to live even after gaining some fame in the film. He said that Dain never drank or smoked.
For centuries people in the village chose to live in simple straw huts and wore nothing but grass skirts or a pen-base shield called Nambas. They breed grains and pigs and observe a traditional way of life known as kastom.
However, the village is not complete with modern life. When villagers travel to the island's main town to sell their coffee beans or buy rice, they usually wear clothing. Some have mobile phones that charge them with small solar panels.
When Butler and Bentley Dean from Australia decided to shoot the film based loosely on a true story, Butler stated that the village elders would do so quickly. He said that Dain was eligible for the role with his beard He looked old, but 1
He said he likes to remember how clumsy Dain was when he tried to act in a scene where he was supposed to be lifting Marie-Wawa-Star in his arms and carrying him across a riverbed.
Butler said he and Dean plan to travel to Yakel at the end of the mourning season to celebrate the village to celebrate Dain's life. 19659002] "I was totally devastated. He was so fit and young and beautiful. His wife is fantastic and the kids are great, "said Butler. "He was a great example of how to lead a completely different life and still be completely happy."
Producer Janita Suter, who lived in Yakel for seven months with her husband Dean and her children. If there was a prize for the most improved actor, he would have to go to Dain. She said she does not think he saw a movie before she starred in a movie.
She said that when they were traveling to Venice for the film festival, she was in her apartment when the chandelier and ceiling began to tremble. It turned out that Dain and the other villagers in the room were upstairs, stamping their feet with a traditional dance.
"He was a truly proud ambassador for his people," she said. "It's a real loss."
She said that Dain had lived in Port Vila for the last few months trying to get a temporary visa to come to Australia and earn some fruit. She said that a doctor said that Dain had an infection in his leg that he had not treated, and when he was taken to the hospital, he was unconscious and probably in a septic shock.
Butler said he hoped it could be So, one can better inform people in Vanuatu about the danger of infection and that Dain's death could act as a catalyst.