Animal star adores latest
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