Auck­land teen be­comes young Sir Ed

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - HUGH COLLINS

Mor­gan Bax­ter’s first ever on­screen au­di­tion landed him a role as a young Sir Ed­mund Hil­lary.

The Ep­som res­i­dent will ap­pear in the TV One drama Hil­lary which pre­mieres on Sun­day night.

But un­til this role the 13-yearold had only ever acted in school plays.

The King’s Col­lege stu­dent says he went to the au­di­tion with zero ex­pec­ta­tions, which ap­pears to have worked in his favour.

‘‘I didn’t re­ally feel ner­vous be­cause I just thought I wasn’t go­ing to get it, I thought I was go­ing in for the ex­pe­ri­ence. And then they said ‘you’ve been short­listed’,’’ Mor­gan says.

‘‘I was re­ally re­ally sur­prised be­cause I just thought it was for fun.’’ Mor­gan’s mother Vanessa says by ‘‘de­fault’’ he was very hum­ble about the au­di­tion.

‘‘To be hon­est we were the same as him and we didn’t want him to be dis­ap­pointed, it was his first au­di­tion.’’

Af­ter the au­di­tion the fam­ily were cer­tain it would be the end of it - they even had over­seas travel plans which had been made over the last few years for when it was set to be filmed.

‘‘It came out of the left side for all of us,’’ Vanessa says.

Mor­gan’s role fo­cuses on Sir Ed’s time as a stu­dent at Auck­land Gram­mar School. The show’s di­rec­tor told Mor­gan he got the role be­cause he was able to lis­ten and take di­rec­tion with­out tak­ing of­fence.

‘‘He was a re­ally funny guy.’’ Mor­gan had in­stant rap­port with the di­rec­tor, Vanessa says.

‘‘He ex­pected a lot from the kids and he def­i­nitely had high ex­cep­tions of all the chil­dren ac­tors. He didn’t want to waste time but he was re­ally cool with them and put them at ease re­ally quickly.’’ One of the more me­mor- able scenes for Mor­gan was when Ed gets a can­ing from his fa­ther, thank­fully with pad­ding in his cos­tume.

Hil­lary screens this Sun­day at 8.30pm on TV One.

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