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Jake "the Muss" Heke
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Jake "the Muss" Heke is a fictional character created by New Zealand writer Alan Duff. He appears in three of Duff's novels, Once Were Warriors (1990), What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? (1996) and Jake's Long Shadow (2002). He is played by Temuera Morrison in the film adaptations of Once Were Warriors (1994) and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (1999). He is a violent-tempered urban Māori man from New Zealand, abusive to his wife Beth and their six children: Nig, Sonny, Boogie, Grace, Polly and Huatu. His nickname, "the Muss", is short for "Muscles".

Character history

In Once Were Warriors, Jake is a primal, unchivalric man, comparable to Stanley Kowalski. He is characterised as being a violent-tempered, irresponsible, selfish man who regularly gets into fights at his local bar (which he invariably wins, due to his speed, size and sheer brutality), drinks heavily and physically abuses his wife Beth. He shows almost no regard for their children unless they do something to upset him (his reaction upon learning that son Boogie has been remanded as a ward of the state is "Is that it? It'll toughen the boy up.") and spends most of his time in the company of his drinking buddies. After the suicide of his daughter Grace, Jake is abandoned by Beth and the rest of the family, who blame him for Grace's death. The Jake of What becomes of the Broken Hearted? (set several years later) is a shadow of his former self. While he stills holds court in the local bar, brutalising any other patron who he feels has stepped out of line, his friends no longer cheer him on and his heavy drinking is beginning to take a toll on his sanity, with his fits of rage becoming ever more regular. In this film Jake slowly learns to control his basic instincts and tries to make his peace with his estranged wife and four surviving children.


 "Tell Jakey you love him."
 "Cook the man some fucking eggs!" 
 "I was right, too much weights, not enough speedwork. Useless prick."
 "Well fuck off, then! You'll get nothing from me"
 "I bought seafood today - bloody everything! Just wanted to put a smile on her face. Think she'd let me? Not a chance.
  All I said was that I got laid off. Anybody would've thought I'd told her my prick had dropped off!"
 "You're a fuckin' mess. Don't you ever speak to me again you hear?"
 "Barman! Six milkshakes - easy on the ice cream!"

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