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Funnyman Oscar Kightley is about to take on a serious role - as a Samoan cop in South Auckland.
The actor, writer and director will take on the lead role in the $3.5 million drama series Harry, which will screen on TV3 later this year.
Best known as a member of Samoan comedy group Naked Samoans, Bro'Town and hit film Sione's Wedding, Kightley is working with production company Desert Road on the series.
He said it was too early to talk about what a challenge a serious drama would be after writing and performing comedy.
"We are only in the writing stage, so it is kind of like talking about your babies before they are born," Kightley said.
"Everything is a challenge. It's a challenge to do comedy but I haven't put my actor's hat on yet, so we will figure that out when it happens."
Desert Road writer Chris Dudman said the lead was written for Kightley rather than finding an actor for the character.
"It's a dramatic role for Oscar, which is completely different for him. There will be humour, but it will come from his character. It's not a comedy."
Dudman said no-one else had yet been cast in the show.
The company had also employed former police detective Neil Grimstone as a writer and consultant to make sure the writing was believable.
"We want it to be authentic," Dudman said.
Harry will screen on TV3 later in the year and has New Zealand on Air funding of $3,514,985 for six hour-long shows.