And action ... rugby ace Zak to star in Clint Eastwood film
The Midlands has a new film star, I can exclusively reveal.
He is Zak Feunati, director of rugby at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield and player coach with Veseyans RFC.
Old chum Karl Ward, chairman of Veseyans, tells me Zak will take a leading role in the new Clint Eastwood film The Human Factor.
It tells the story of Nelson Mandela and how he used victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup as a means of fostering national unity.
Zak has been a professional rugby player all his life and last year was playing for Bath in the Premiership.
He is a Samoan international.
Never having acted before, he is now at the start of 13 weeks of filming in South Africa.
It came about when the film makers contacted the Professional Rugby Players Association and requested a South Seas islander who might be suitable.
Zak will be transforming into New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu and, according to Karl, his other main task is to teach Matt Damon, who takes the part of then South African captain Francois Pienaar, how to play rugby.
Morgan Freeman is Mandela.
Karl said: “We’re all very proud of Zak – he’s a great guy. It’s obviously a fantastic opportunity and we are thrilled for him.
“But I suspect as well there will be a bit of ribbing from the boys when he gets back. Rugby players don’t do luvvy and darling speak.
“He was supposed to be going on our Easter tour to Bournemouth – there’s 50 of us along.
“I have heard some excuses for getting out of touring down the years but ‘Sorry, I’m away filming’ has to be the best!”
There’s wedding bells in the air at Birmingham Press Club.
Ever-cheerful Phil Brown, PR wordsmith at Advantage West Midlands, has fallen head over heels for one of the Yorkshire Bank’s prize assets, Caroline Luxmore.
Phil and “Luxy” met at the Press Club a year ago and Phil popped the question on Valentine’s Day over a champagne lunch at the Mailbox, with spring 2010 pencilled in for the big day.
Love has clearly stopped the boy from thinking straight.
He’s throwing himself off the roof of Yorkshire Bank’s Financial Solutions Centre at Temple Point – but it’s all in aid of the Acorns charity.
Phil has a high noon appointment to join 50 other fundraisers to abseil down the building on Saturday.
For any friends and media colleagues he hasn’t collared yet, you can sponsor him – and leave a suitably inspiring message in best Bright tradition – by visiting http://www.justgiving.co.uk/yorkshirebank1