Saturday, September 5, 2009
Look out for the young Aussie Nicholas McAnulty who, at just six years old, will make his acting debut after an extensive nationwide search of Australia, starring in The Boys Are Back alongside Clive Owen. Also starring is experienced English teen actor George Mackay (represented by Gordon and French) who made his screen debut at 10 years old in Peter Pan and then went on to star in the BBC children's drama Johnny and the Bomb. He was also seen last year as the youngest Bielski brother in Defiance with Daniel Craig.
The film tells the story of the relationship between father and son. Joe Warr (Clive Owen) is a successful sports writer whose life takes a tragic and sudden change when his wife (Laura Fraser) dies of cancer. This leaves Joe to bring up his six year old son Artie (McAnulty) alone. In an effort to cope, Joe adopts the philosophy of ‘just say yes' to appease his son. This attitude leads to an unruly situation, particularly when Joe's 15 year old son from a previous marriage (George Mackay) decides to join his father in Australia.
It's about living life to the full. It's full of everyday observations that are about real life, not just reel life.
Clive Owen carved out time to get to know young Nicholas McAnulty. Clive explained that often the camera would continue running after a scene was shot: 'If Nicholas started to do impromptu things, we were there to capture anything that came up.
'There are things that fathers do with their kids that they're not allowed to do when Mum is around. There's a different discipline. A day with Dad is very different.'
Indeed, part of his character's ethos is the power of 'Yes'. It's OK to have pillow fights, play on swings when you want, sit on the bumper of Dad's car and so on.
'You can't fail to be moved,' Clive said. 'These guys are grieving, so you can forgive them some of the things they do.'
The film has its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and will be shown at the
London Film Festival on October 21.