An­i­mal star adores lat­est

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

JAMES Frecheville is best known as ‘‘the kid from An­i­mal King­dom’’ but the Aussie ac­tor has been busy since his break­out role, work­ing with ev­ery­one from James Gan­dolfini to Naomi Watts.

Frecheville plays Watts’s lover in Ado­ra­tion, a provoca­tive French-Aus­tralian film which po­larised au­di­ences at Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val when it pre­miered in Jan­uary.

The film is also known as Adore, Two Moth­ers and Per­fect Moth­ers.

Based on a true story, it stars Watts and Robin Wright as life­long friends who fall for each other’s sons, played by Frecheville and Xavier Sa­muel.

Frecheville says al­though he was aware he would be work­ing in­ti­mately with Watts, he wasn’t in­tim­i­dated by the Os­car-nom­i­nated ac­tress.

‘‘Not es­pe­cially. I mean it doesn’t re­ally serve any­body’s pur­pose to put peo­ple on pedestals while you’re film­ing with them. I learnt that from An­i­mal King­dom. You need to meet peo­ple on your own terms, so you can work as ef­fec­tively as pos­si­ble.’’

Sim­i­lar to An­i­mal King­dom, Frecheville soaked up the ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge of those around him on set. He says it’s like an act­ing ap­pren­tice­ship in a way.

‘‘With An­i­mal King­dom I hadn’t done any­thing be­fore and ev­ery­thing I took from that film was through os­mo­sis for the most part – learn­ing by do­ing and watch­ing over read­ing a book or hav­ing some­one else tell you how to do it,’’ he says.

The phys­i­cal na­ture of the role was one of Frecheville’s big­gest chal­lenges on-set with Ado­ra­tion. To make him look like an au­then­tic surfer, he and Sa­muel un­der­went surf train­ing and he hit the gym ‘‘to get

Ado­ra­tion. into shape prop­erly for the first time in my life’’.

‘‘I’ve got re­ally fair skin and I had to get sort of tan painted ev­ery day. . . you can’t mask your frus­tra­tions when some­one’s paint­ing you golden brown for an hour,’’ he says.

Di­rected by French film­maker Anne Fon­taine, Ado­ra­tion is based on the novella by Doris Less­ing and was filmed in eight weeks in and around Syd­ney.

Since An­i­mal King­dom, Frecheville has made five films and worked with some of the finest ac­tors out there, in­clud­ing the late Gan­dolfini on his fi­nal film, An­i­mal Res­cue.

‘‘I was re­ally blessed to have spent the time with him that I did,’’ he says.

Ado­ra­tion opens to­day.

Naomi Watts and James Frecheville in a scene from the provoca­tive drama

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