Karen O'Leary


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Karen O ’Leary is a fresh face on screens big and small but has been making waves since she first dipped her wee toe into a paddling pool. After being accidentally discovered policing children at her early childhood centre by casting director and parent Tina Cleary, Karen made her acting debut in Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement ’s cult classic What We Do In the Shadows (2014)as the earnest, naïve cop Officer O ’Leary. She and her policing partner Officer Minogue were apparent audience favourites, so much so that they got their own spinoff TV series Wellington Paranormal, a smash hit which gave Country Calendar a run for its money. Karen has appeared on Have Your Been Paying Attention, Seven Sharp and Anika Moa Unleased and has recently joined the Alternative Commentary Collective. One of her career highlights was being called a dick by John Campbell on TVNZ’s Breakfast (don’ t worry, it was a joke). She played a salacious cop in the film The Breaker Upperers (2018), a sensible cop in the web series The Educators (2019 )and a slightly dodgy security guard in another webseries, Potluck (2016). Karen is someone who knows people well. Her work in acting and education means she has an innate ability to relate to and inspire a diverse range of people. Humour, positivity and reliability are hallmarks of her MCing. She loves to work a crowd, engage an audience and get some laughs, but also deliver a serious message it that is what’s needed.


Wellington, New Zealand