Morgana O’Reilly Actress Bio
Name: Morgana O’Reilly
Date/Place of Birth: August 19th, 1985; New Zealand
Brief Bio: Morgana O’Reilly grew up in the Ponsonby/Grey Lynn area of New Zealand, born to dancer-choreographer Mary-Jane O’Reilly and graphic designer Phil O’Reilly. She inherited her love of performance from her mother, and wanted to be an actor since the age of fifteen. After graduating from the Unitech Institution of Technology in 2006, she appeared in a number of theatre productions such as Coram Boy, Marat/Sade, and Three Sisters. Not long after taking part in the comedy show A Thousand Apologies, she was cast in Bare, a play by Toa Fraser. According to director Oliver Driver, O’Reilly was selected because of her versatility with different characters.
In 2009, O’Reilly created The Height of the Eiffel Tower, a one-woman play that focuses on Terri Hulme, a mother of four that reflects upon her life after going on a coffee date with an old friend from college. O’Reilly’s approached her friend Abigail Greenwood to serve as the play’s dramaturge and director; O’Reilly then went on to perform The Height of Eiffel Tower at the New York Fringe Festival, where it was received well. After being cast as Amber in Thomas Sainsbury’s Dance Troupe Supreme, O’Reilly sought help from her mother in researching the role due to her experience with dancing.
In 2013, O’Reilly won the audition to play the role of Naomi Canning on the New Zealand soap opera Neighbours. Her husband, filmmaker Peter Salmon, filmed her first audition in their garden in Sydney, after which she flew into Melbourne to audition in the studio alongside Colette Mann and Stefan Dennis. On March 25th, 2014, she made her first appearance as Naomi.
In 2014, O’Reilly starred as the crass and spunky Kylie Bucknell in the excellent horror-comedy, Housebound, directed by Gerard Johnstone. Her role as Kylie is most certainly an example of O’Reilly’s ability to portray characters with drastically different personalities; her strong performance sets her aside from the countless forgettable horror movie damsels, leaving the audience with an impression beyond sex appeal.
Piece of My Heart (2011) – June Watt
Billy (2011) – Lynn Matthews
Safe House (2012) – Carol Taylor
This Is Littleton (2014) – Various Characters