Freddie Highmore Interview – Mastering The Art Of Getting By
You will recognize Freddie Highmore from films like Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and The Spiderwick Chronicles, where he played a curious youth. Now the child star is all grown up and starting his career as a mature adult actor with the role The Art Of Getting By where he plays a lonely teen named George. We caught up with Freddie about his more mature role and what he has learned so far.
Real Style Network: People know you as a child star, but in The Art Of Getting By you play a much more mature character. Are you trying to move away from that label?
Freddie Highmore: Perhaps it wasn’t a conscious decision to step into a more mature role, but it was a natural thing to do as you grow older you start to play roles that not only represent your age, but also represent the thing that you’re going through. In every film, you have to draw a certain amount from your own experiences to make it real so you can portray that on film, so it seemed natural moving into these roles.
Real Style Network: So you connected with your character George?
Freddie Highmore: I definitely connected with the character, but not in the way that he deals with the problems that he’s going through, but I think everyone knows what it’s like to be at that stage in your life where you feel like the world is against you to a certain extent or that your world is going to end and you’ve got no one else to turn to. It’s the feeling of being alone and not sure where you fit it. It’s about finding your place and the person you want to be. I think it’s very easy when you are in the system of high school and moving onto college to get stuck into a type of person. You think ‘Oh I’m the type of person who doesn’t do their homework’ and you are comfortable in that persona that perhaps might not be who you really are. When you get out of high school, you think my life is starting in a different way and I have to become an active person and do the things that I want to do.
Real Style Network: Do you find yourself drawn to certain types of characters or films?
Freddie Highmore: I guess I find myself drawn to characters, or type of characters as opposed to films. I choose roles that would be different and distinguish themselves from things I have done in the past. It would be a bit dull and for everyone watching if I was just the same person over and over again. Certainly for The Art Of Getting By for the different emotion and different film that it is, that was something different. That is always an attraction getting to create a new character and doing something you haven’t done before.
Real Style Network: What would be your dream character?
Freddie Highmore: I have always loved Catcher And The Rye and I know that Salinger is never going to give up the rights to that. I guess in some way George was my substitute for playing Holden. There is a kind of similarity there. I guess the fact that no one is ever going to get to play Holden, George is that figure for me.
Real Style Network: You’ve worked with a lot of great actors and directors. What is the best advice you have been given?
Freddie Highmore: I feel that the people you learn the most from you are led by example on a film set as opposed to them sitting you down and saying this is how it works. Working with Johnny Depp twice was brilliant, not just in terms of getting to understand his acting more, but getting to know him as a person. I think if you could have a role model in film who is a great actor, but also a fantastic person, he’s not a bad pick at all.
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