Sir Sam Neill holds a special place in many Kiwi hearts as arguably Aotearoa’s most successful international actor.

The 76-year-old was born in Omagh, Northern Ireland and moved to New Zealand with his family in 1954.

Sir Sam is best known for his roles in Jurassic Park, Merlin and The Hunt for Red October.

But here in little ol’ New Zealand, he’s also ‘world famous’ for Sleeping Dogs – a dystopian thriller released in 1977, in which he played the lead character that launched his career.

He starred in the film alongside newly knighted Sir Ian Mune – his old friend and much admired thespian.

Sir Sam spoke exclusively to 1News about why Sir Ian is so deserving of his newest accolade.