He is a violent-tempered urban Maori man from New Zealand, abusive to his wife Beth and their six children: Nig, Boogie, Abe, Grace, Polly, and Huatu. His nickname, "The Muss", is short for "Muscles".
Jake Heke is a man with a hair-trigger temper, and its unpredictability is the most frightening thing about him. He likes to play the role of the genial, beer-swilling host, playing his guitar, singing songs, beloved by all, especially late at night by his drunken buddies. But let someone cross him, and he can lash out in the blink of an eye, the rage boiling over. The only way he can communicate truly is through violence. Jake the muss is the epitome of weakness displayed in the toughest characters body, irony at its best.
Jake is a primal, unchivalrous man. He is characterized as being a violent-tempered, sociopathic, 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 Mark 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.
In Temuera Morrison, as Jake, the movie finds a leading actor as elemental, charismatic and brutal as the young Marlon Brando; he has instinctive star power, and it's his likability that makes the violence of his character so shocking. Although only 5 foot 8 in real life, through the films cinematography he appears much taller.