Castle-Hughes is best known for her role as Paikea "Pai" Apirana in the 2002 film Whale Rider for which she was nominated an Academy Award. At 13, she was the youngest female to be nominated in the "Best Actress" category. Since then, she has appeared in a number of films including The Nativity Story, in which she played the Virgin Mary; Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith; Hey, it's Ester Blueburger; and the New Zealand tele-movie Piece of my Heart.
Shot with the exotic and rugged New Zealand landscape as its backdrop, Legend of the Seeker is produced by ABC Studios and distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. Ken Biller, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Ned Nalle and Josh Donen serve as executive producers. Currently in its second season, the series airs Saturdays and Sundays in national syndication.