Auckland teen becomes young Sir Ed
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.