A heart-wrench­ing role

Sunday News - - FRONT PAGE -

So im­pres­sive as a young pri­vate in Dunkirk, Fionn White­head is back on the big screen in an even more chal­leng­ing role.

Not only does the 21-year-old play a teenager caught be­tween his faith and se­cur­ing his fu­ture in The Chil­dren Act, but his char­ac­ter Adam Henry is bat­tling the same can­cer that had killed his own mother just months ear­lier.

Stuff talked to White­head re­cently about work­ing on the emo­tion­ally charged adap­ta­tion of Ian McEwan’s novel and star­ring op­po­site Dame Emma Thomp­son. like they had a def­i­nite end­ing. But it was made so much eas­ier by hav­ing Emma around – she was so lov­ing and kind.

It was re­ally great to be able to talk to her openly and chat and joke around and ev­ery­thing to defuse the ten­sion at the end of the day.

Be­fore we started, we did a few re­hearsals and had a bit of time to hang out and chat. I went to her house and she made me break­fast one day with [di­rec­tor] Richard [Eyre]. That­was re­ally amaz­ing, just to be able to get to know each other be­fore we stepped on set.

I al­ways think that the more you know some­one, the bet­ter you’ll be able to act to­gether. We talked about the script, talked about the role but we also told each other how we were and had some food to­gether. I couldn’t have asked for more from her – on or off set.

A project with Se­bas­tian Schip­per [the Ger­man-born di­rec­tor of Vic­to­ria, which was shot in a sin­gle take]. That­was amaz­ing, re­ally dif­fer­ent. That [called Roads, it is due out early in 2019] was like a road trip and all the cast and crew got re­ally close. We were this tight-knit lit­tle group that sort of travelled all around Europe. The Chil­dren Act (M) is now show­ing in cin­e­mas.

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