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Creator versus character - Chris Lilley

2009

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Chris Lilley (b. 1974), satirist and actor, grew up in Sydney and gained his degree from Macquarie University. Beginning his career as a stand-up comedian, in 2003 he made his television debut in Big Bite, in which he introduced the character Mr G, a high-school drama teacher. Big Bite was the first comedy from a commercial network to be nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award. Lilley's first solo creation was We Can Be Heroes: Finding the Australian of the Year, a six-part ABC series in which he played numerous characters, male and female, Anglo-Australian and Asian-Australian. Lilley won the awards for Best New Talent and Most Outstanding Comedy Program at the Logies of 2006 and a Swiss award, the Rose D'Or, for Best Male Comedy Performance. Lilley's second series, Summer Heights High, was an outstanding success for the ABC in 2007. He played three characters: Mr G, a passionate advocate for drama, Jonah, an aggressive Tongan boy, and Ja'mie King, a snobbish, vulgar private-school bully who spends a term on exchange in the public school system. Lilley won the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor and the Logie for the Most Outstanding Comedy Program. Lilley's third series, Angry Boys, an ABC TV, HBO and BBC co-production in which he again plays multiple characters, debuted in May 2011.

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