The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - CARIS BIZ­ZACA

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.

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