Special Olympic gymnast adds film star to skill set
Chris Bunton plays Evan in new black comedy Down Under
CHRIS Bunton is a very busy man.
He has not long returned from Italy, where he won five medals at the Trisome Games — a competition for people with Down syndrome — and almost immediately headed to Melbourne where Down Under, a feature film in which he had a prominent role, premiered.
Bunton, 23, of St Clair, is a high achiever.
He has competed as a gymnast at the Special Olympics since 2003, winning gold medals for Aus- tralia; studied acting at NIDA; starred in theatre productions and has now added acting in a feature film to his substantial resume.
Down Under is a black comedy about the Cronulla race riots that confronts stereotypes and prejudice.
Bunton plays Evan, the voice of reason, who highlights the absurdity of the situation the characters find themselves in.
“Evan is an innocent young man from the countryside,” Bunton said.
“He has come to visit his cousin in Sydney and came at the wrong time, to the wrong place. My character wants to fit in with his cousin’s friends and, at one point, my cousin’s friends clash with another group of hotheads.”
Bunton said filming fight scenes was new for him despite his short film and theatre acting experience.
“It was a bit rough actually ... but it was also funny, because it is a black comedy,” he said.
While he has been building a strong list of acting credits, Bunton has a long career in gymnastics.
Bunton’s mother Halina Bunton said of the Trisome Games: “He had to do a test to prove he has Down syndrome.”
Bunton said: “I enjoyed many parts of it, like making new friends.”
Bunton trains three times a week, works at Special Olympics Australia, runs gymnastics classes at the Penrith YMCA and studies selective courses at Sydney University.
He credits his success to sticking to a tight schedule.
What’s next? “I have just two things right now,’’ he said. “One would be doing more films and also I want to do a podcast.” Down Under opens tomorrow at Blacktown Hoyts.
Chris Bunton at work at Penrith YMCA in Jamisontown and (inset) with the cast of