Tane Williams-Accra talks to express about playing a gay con man, lying to his personal trainer and travelling solo.

Best known for playing Ali Karim on Shortland Street, Tane Williams-Accra is ditching the screen for the stage to play ‘Paul’, a gay street hustler and con artist in ATC’s Six Degrees of Separation. The role was made famous by Will Smith who used it to help transition his career from a TV star on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air to a serious film actor.

What made you most excited about doing ATC’s Six Degrees of Separation?


I loved doing live theatre at drama school but haven’t done it in over four years so I’m most excited about being back on stage.

What aspects of Paul’s character do you most identify with?

Paul is a very troubled young man. I’m currently studying the script and creating his persona but even with all my work I still don’t really know who he is yet, just the people he pretends to be.

What do you most love and hate about him?

I love his rich imagination. He is essentially an incredible actor. I hate his inability to understand the harm that can come from lying and deceiving.

What is the greatest trip you’ve ever taken?

In 2018 I took 5 weeks off from Shortland Street and travelled to LA, London and Paris. Epic trip. It was the greatest trip I’ve ever taken because I did it on my own. I met people over there and had friends and family in London and LA but most of the trip I was on my own. I did lots of soul searching and though it was challenging at times, I grew heaps as a person.

Name something you consider to be completely overrated?

Drunken sex.

When do you lie?

When my personal trainer asks if I’ve been keeping up our routine between sessions.

Which word or phrase do you most overuse?

Bro. Definitely bro, bro. 

What are you most proud of?

My metabolism.

If you were reincarnated what would you be?

A tiger.

Six Degrees of Separation plays at Auckland’s Waterfront Theatre from Wednesday 14 to Thursday 29 August. Tickets from