Mungau Dain, humble Pacific island movie star, dies at 24 - Los Angeles Times
Latimes.com - Sat 12 Jan 02:38 GMT

Mungau Dain, humble Pacific island movie star, dies at 24 - Los Angeles Times

Known as the Brad Pitt of Vanuatu, Mungau Dain was untrained but a natural fit in the Oscar-nominated film "Tanna."

  Mungau Dain had never considered acting before he starred in the Oscar-nominated film "Tanna."

  He got the role because his elders decided he was the best-looking guy in their traditional village on the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.They would later describe him as their answer to Brad Pitt.Dain died Saturday in the capital, Port Vila, after contracting a leg infection that wasn't quickly treated.

  His village, Yakel, on Tanna island, is in a traditional two-week mourning period.Jimmy Joseph, the cultural director for Tanna island, said Dain was quiet, humble and respected in Yakel, where he had chosen to continue living even after achieving some fame in the movie.Marie Wawa and Mungau Dain in the 2015 film "Tanna.

  He said Dain looked too old for the role with his full beard, but he shaved it off at their request.Butler said he fondly remembered how awkward Dain was when trying to act in a scene in which he was supposed to lift co-star Marie Wawa in his arms and carry her along a riverbed.Butler said he and Dean plan to travel to Yakel at the end of the mourning period to join the village in celebrating Dain's life.

  "Location producer Janita Suter, who lived in Yakel for seven months during filming with her husband, Dean, and their children, said that if there were an award for most improved actor, it would have to go to Dain.