James Rolleston, star of Boy and The Dark Horse, is about to begin the next stage in his rehabilitation after a devastating car crash last July left him in Waikato Hospital's Intensive Care Unit for a month.
Rolleston, 19, is about to begin treatment at Auckland's ABI Rehabilitation Centre which will focus on physiotherapy, speech therapy and swimming to help him recover from the accident, which left him with critical injuries.
His grandmother Christine told The Herald on Sunday that Rolleston wants to "thank the public for their love and positive energy" and credits actor Cliff Curtis for helping him get back on track.
The award-winning actor, who co-starred with Rolleston in The Dark Horse, has helped keep the young actor focused on his career and prevent depression from setting in.
"Knowing [Curtis] is there for him means everything," Christine said. "It's important for his wellbeing he is able to go on set and be with his acting friends."
He recently took Rolleston to the set of Meg, the shark movie being filmed in Auckland and starring Curtis alongside Hollywood actor Jason Statham.
Rolleston says he doesn't remember the four days leading up to the accident - instead, his last memory from before the crash is attending the premiere of his latest film The Rehearsal at Auckland's Civic Theatre.
Rolleston had driven back from Auckland after the screening, and his grandmother says exhaustion, as well as speed, are the factors which caused the crash.
"Boys at that age think they are invincible," she said.
While Rolleston has a long journey to recovery, he has already completed work on his next feature film - the remake of Kiwi classic Goodbye Pork Pie. The producers of the yet-to-be-released film visited Rolleston in hospital to show him the first trailer, which was released earlier in the month.
"I thought he'd be quite terrified looking at it, because the speed of the car might have brought up memories of the accident," said Christina.
Before he can get back into acting, Rolleston needs to focus on his recovery: "His speech is good but not good enough to be in front of the camera," said Christine.
Rolleston now walks with a slight limp, she added.
"He has a strong inner drive so he'll make it... he said to me, Nan, if I have learned anything, it's to treasure life. It's a gift."