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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Creator versus character - Chris Lilley

2009
John Tsiavis

type C photograph on paper (frame: 153.4 cm x 107.3 cm, image: 132.0 cm x 88.0 cm)

Chris Lilley (b. 1974), satirist and actor, grew up in Sydney and gained his degree from Macquarie University. Beginning his career as a stand-up comedian, in 2003 he made his television debut in Big Bite, in which he introduced the character Mr G, a high-school drama teacher. Big Bite was the first comedy from a commercial network to be nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award. Lilley's first solo creation was We Can Be Heroes: Finding the Australian of the Year, a six-part ABC series in which he played numerous characters, male and female, Anglo-Australian and Asian-Australian. Lilley won the awards for Best New Talent and Most Outstanding Comedy Program at the Logies of 2006 and a Swiss award, the Rose D'Or, for Best Male Comedy Performance. Lilley's second series, Summer Heights High, was an outstanding success for the ABC in 2007. He played three characters: Mr G, a passionate advocate for drama, Jonah, an aggressive Tongan boy, and Ja'mie King, a snobbish, vulgar private-school bully who spends a term on exchange in the public school system. Lilley won the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor and the Logie for the Most Outstanding Comedy Program. Lilley's third series, Angry Boys, an ABC TV, HBO and BBC co-production in which he again plays multiple characters, debuted in May 2011.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2010 Finalist

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2011
© John Tsiavis

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

John Tsiavis (age 32 in 2009)

Chris Lilley (age 35 in 2009)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

John Tsiavis (1 portrait)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Tan Le

'So many stars'

Portrait story

Tech entrepreneur Tan Le and photographer John Tsiavis.

Creator versus character - Chris Lilley
Creator versus character - Chris Lilley
Creator versus character - Chris Lilley
Creator versus character - Chris Lilley

How to be a boy

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Christopher Chapman profiles Chris Lilley, actor and creator of Angry Boys.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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