Best known for his role on Shortland Street as Kane Jenkins, KJ Apa starred on the show for 18 months before heading to America. He has recently finished filming the sci-fi series The Cul-de-sac which is set to screen on TV2.
His manager Mandy Jacobsen said, "No one from New Zealand has ever gone up and landed a leading role as quickly as this kid’.
“His first audition was for A Dog's Purpose and he nailed the lead role. The executives said it had never happened to anyone before in their 20 years in the industry. They said he's like a young Tom Cruise, they think he's going to be massive.”
KJ will play Ethan in the DreamWorks production, with co-stars Dennis Quaid (Vantage Point, Movie 43), Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland, Vantage Point), Juliet Rylance (Sinister, Sinister 2) and Peggy Lipton (Twin Peaks, The Postman).
A Dog's Purpose is an adaptation of W. Bruce Cameron's book of the same name which centres on a devoted dog that is reincarnated several times and - even as it helps its many owners - always has the aim of being reunited with its original owner and best friend.