Robbie Magasiva on returning to his Kiwi roots with Head High

Samoan-New Zealand actor Robbie Magasiva has returned to his Kiwi roots, finally saying goodbye to long-running Australian TV show Wentworth.

And how did he celebrate? By coming home for a role on Three show Head High.

Wentworth is about to debut its 9th and final season across the Tasman. The OG front and centre all that time was prison guard Will Jackson, played by Magasiva.

But now Magasiva has been released from prison and is back on home turf, in the second season of high school rugby drama Head High.

He plays rich businessman Mitch, the father of the new star Southdown player Nico. He has big plans for his son's rugby career and will stop at nothing to see Southdown succeed.

Coming home to Aotearoa for a role in such a truly Kiwi drama was a gift and he knew he was home the moment he stepped on set.

"What I loved about this production, was the Māori te reo on set, like action is called in Māori and when I heard it for the first time I went, 'aaaaah, I'm home'."

Home, and happy, and back doing what he loves, it's hard to believe this talented hard-working actor almost gave up acting entirely.

"Mental health is really important, and I say that now because I did have an episode at the end of Wentworth where my anxiety levels got to a point that I almost kinda gave acting away."

Magasiva took the time and the space he needed and fully focussed on his mental health. So when the Head High producers called, he was ready to answer.

"I love rugby, I'm a rugby fanatic, go the Hurricanes, Hurricanes for life. When Rachel Jean emailed my agent and said 'would Robbie like to be part of it', and I said 'hell yes as long as I get to play rugby'."

And play rugby he did, alongside a trifecta of All Blacks - no pressure then.

"They look like they are 21. They just get better with age. I get worse," he says.

Methinks the man doth protest too much.

Magasiva holds his own on the field and off. His Head High journey is in full swing and lockdown binge-worthy.