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We show that the Newman-Janis shift property of the exact Kerr solution can be interpreted in terms of a worldsheet effective action. This holds both in gravity, and for the single-copy √Kerr solution in electrodynamics. At the level of equations of motion, we show that the Newman-Janis shift holds also for the leading interactions of the Kerr black hole. These leading interactions are conveniently described using chiral classical equations of motion with the help of the spinor-helicity method familiar from scattering amplitudes.