OUR NEW STAR
THE GOLD COAST'S NEWST RESIDENT BRENTON THWAITES TEAMS UP WITH A-LIST STARS FOR HIS FRESH FLICK THE GIVER
A ussie Brenton Thwaites was an unemployed actor when he was offered the chance to star with Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep in The Giver.
Unlike Jennifer Lawrence, who initially hesitated with The Hunger Games, 25-yearold Thwaites didn’t think twice about signing on to the science fiction film, based on Lois Lowry’s beloved 1993 novel.
“I was unemployed, looking for a job, and I got it,” says the laid-back Aussie, who recently relocated to Tallebudgera with his family and now calls the Gold Coast home.
Thwaites says he was also drawn to The Giver’s story, about a future society where pain, suffering and emotions don’t exist – except in memories handed down to his chosen character, Jonas.
On top of that was the drawcard of working with Bridges and Australian director Phillip Noyce.
“(So) I just went for it,” he says. “I probably should have stopped and thought about it, but I don’t tend to do that. Maybe I should more often.” Life certainly has changed. Earlier this year, you might have seen Thwaites playing Prince Phillip in Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent.
Now with The Giver, the former Home and Away star is on his way to becoming a household name and has even had paparazzi on his tail.
It’s something he’s still getting used to, particularly in Australia.
“Here, it’s confusing. ’Cause there was one guy outside and I was like ‘are you OK, man?’ and then I just realised ‘it’s a photographer’.
“In New York, those guys are crazy,” he says, but admits “it’s OK to be honest.” He says while some actors have it tough, the paparazzi have been nothing but friendly, even excited about
The Giver coming out. “They’re not up in my grill. They’re just taking photos of me coming to work,” he says.
“But I can’t imagine what it would be like, living at home and having people climbing trees to take photos of you.”
However with major movies in the pipeline – including Son of a Gun with Ewan McGregor, Ride with Helen Hunt, and Gods of
Egypt with Gerard Butler – Thwaites’ star-power is only set to climb.
But the Cairns-born actor hasn’t let Hollywood go to his head. In fact, he still gets starstruck. “All the time,” he says.
“I was a big Big Lebowski fan (so) meeting Jeff for the first time I was pretty starstruck,” adding that Brad Pitt’s visit to the Maleficent set was another big moment. “But it quickly fades because you have a job to do and you do your best work in a relaxed environment.” And if anyone is going to spread a chilled-out vibe on set, it’s Bridges.
The Oscar-winner, who has been trying to get The Giver on to the big screen for nearly two decades, apparently has an interesting way of articulating things.
Thwaites says because Bridges is a musician, it’s like everyone on-set is in a band.
“So he uses those words, like ‘dance’ or ‘let’s just jam on this scene for a little bit’.”
The Giver opens today.
Brenton Thwaites in a scene from the movie The Giver.