Facts About Jay Ryan’s Partner Dianna Fuemana: Everything about New Zealand born Play Wright

Dianna Fuemana playwright and partner of jay ryan

Whether it’s his stellar performance in “Mary Kills Wiseley” or his animalistic physic in “beauty and the beast”, Jay Ryan has certainly been the fan favourite from the start of his career. His portrayal of Ben Hanscom, the smart guy of losers club in the movie “IT Chapter Two” is nothing but luring to the eyes. We as fans couldn’t believe how ripped Ben turned out to be in his adulthood. 

The heartthrob from New Zealand has appeared in limited small roles in movies, but his top-notch charisma is always the talking point in the tv series. Although he shares a public personality, it’s his personal life that makes the fan agog about him.

Like many celebrities, Jay keeps in low key when it comes to his long-term girlfriend – Dianna Fuemana. In 2013, the couple declared that they were having a baby and later named their daughter, Eve Bunyan. But other than that, it’s all been mystery. 

So, here are facts we know about your favorite Bunners partner.

Dianna Fuemana’s Roots come from American Samoa

Dianna Fuemana is an American Samoan

Although she was born and raised in New Zealand, Dianna’s parents have a proud heritage coming from a family of American Samoa. There are sources claiming that she is a Canadian immigrant but clearly she’s not. In a radio talk show talking about her play, “Falemalama,” she revealed how the play is a homage to her mother Falemalama Fuemana who came to New Zealand in the 60s from American Samoa, via Niue and the United States.

“My father, brothers, and sisters had already moved to New Zealand from new ways so she was estranged at that time living in American Samoa. So it was kind of long make-up and break up where my dad asked her to come back to the family in New Zealand. So that’s how she ended up coming back to New Zealand,” Dianna noted.

The playwright turned director has 7 siblings together as mentioned in the interview. According to her facebook profile, she completed her Master of Creativity and Arts in 2005 from the University of Auckland.

Dianna Wrote her First Play “Mapaki” in 1999

Dianna Fuemana working as Play wright

Dianna made her presence known in a male-dominated New Zealand Pacific theater spectrum through her breakthrough play “Mapaki” which was written and shop in 1999. This play revolves around Niuean woman who is a victim of domestic violence and fantasy. This is the story of an emotional Fisi who undertakes various challenges on her journey to overturn the abusive situation.

Cover picture of mapaki
Mapaki Cover Picture

It was first presented in New Zealand then subsequently rallied to USA and Athens, Greece. The play was nominated at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for the category of Outstanding New Writer and best upcoming actress of the Year.

Dianna’s Plays have been Staged in Various Countries

Dianna is quite a craftsman when it comes to art. Progressively, she banged the hometown stage and international stage with plays like Jingle Bells (2001), The Packer (2003), My Mother Dreaming (2005), Falemalama (2009) and Birds(2012). Some of these were staged within the country, New Zealand. While some were orchestrated in the countries like Australia, Greece, United States, Hawaii, Canada, Niue, America Samoa and the UK.

The Lovebird have Worked Together

Oh! the sweetness overload. Who doesn’t love to see the lovebird act together in reel life? This is certainly what happened to this duo. Ryan and Fuemana have worked together in The Packer. Here is a sneak preview of the show.

The couple first met in Auckland at a theatre company. The relationship didn’t hit it off from the get go. He also took Dianna to Australia’s ‘Logie Awards’ in 2003. He referred to he as her best friend at that time. And, soon the best friend turned into lovers! Probably that’s why their relationship has sustain hardships even after decades of relationship.

Her Works have Won her Various Awards

Dianna is without a shadow of a doubt an accomplished Playwright. She has been a part of various competition and have won a bunch of them. In 2010, she beat five other Kiwi playwrights to win $2000 at New Zealand international art festival.

Dianna’s skills, experience, and contribution provided her with an opportunity to work as an art adviser for Auckland City Council (2003-2006), Also, she worked as a guest writer at the Tahiti writers festival (2005) and has sat on the Auckland Readers and Writers festival panels. In her career as a writer, she has won the Pacific Innovation and Excellence Award (2008) Creative New Zealand, Pasifika Arts Award.

She has Worked with Hollywood Directors

Dianna completed her three months internship from Killer Films NYC in 2012 (US Screenwriting Scholarship) with the support of the Film Investment Corporation Foundation and the New Zealand Film Commission. Killer Films have been often labelled as one of the most creative platform for writers that have provided Oscar hits like Boys Don’t Cry and Still Alice.

Over this period, she made quite a good bond with talented directors and even shared room with many Hollywood directors and scriptwriters.

Jay Thought he was too Young to be a Dad!

Jay ryan with longtime girlfriend Dianna Fuemana

Raise your hand if you thought Jay would be a wonderful dad. However, the beauty and beast star had different opinions than ours.

While talking to Australia’s TV-Week, Ryan admitted that he was a father to a beautiful daughter Eve.

“We’ve kept everything pretty quiet until now, but it’s changed my life and really put a lot of things in perspective.”

Further he went on to say, “I never expected to be a dad at my age and she was a little bundle of surprise for me and my partner, but it makes me realize how important family really is.”

Eve was born just two days before the first season completion of beauty and the beast. So practically she is a Canadian-Newzealand gal! But her father insists that she is a kiwi down to her core.

Eve isn’t Dianna’s only Child

Jay and dianna with daughter eve in a restuarant

Well we all know by now that the little eve is Jay Ryan and Dianna Fuemana’s daughter. But little we know that Dianna has two kids from her previous relationship. According to various sources, she has a son Solomon and daughter Reid. But their whereabouts are still unknown as they don’t live with Dianna.

The rumor was also validated by The Coconet TV that confirmed that Dianna used to be a single parent on the DPB watching soap operas. We tried to dig into more details, but since the couple is really private about their personal life, we couldn’t hack it!

She made her Directorial Debut from “Sunday Fun Day”

Before marching into directorial path, Dianna had already shown her caliber in the writing department as well as play craftsmanship.

But this time she wanted to push her boundaries with a short movie “Sunday Fun day.” She wrote the movie herself which is quite obvious and she directed it as well. Her partner, Jay Ryan was the director of this movie. It’s a story looked from two sets of eyes, a transgender teenager wanting to set free and a solo mother who tries to grapple the system she doesn’t fit in. The movie first premiered in New Zealand International Film Festival.

Later in 2019, she collaborated with 8 more female Pacific filmmakers to create a monument movie “Vai.” The film was shot on seven different pacific islands and it encompasses the journey of Vai, a woman empowered by the diverse culture.

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