When we were in London last year for the set visit of Joe Wright’s “Pan” we met with 11-year-old Aussie actor Levi Miller, an eager kid with a twinkle in his eye that was given an opportunity of a lifetime to star as Peter Pan in a big budgeted Hollywood production with a cast made up of A-listers.
Miller has since grown up quite noticeably, and even his voice has gone through a change thanks to puberty. We don’t know yet how this growing up for the ‘boy who never grows up’ might affect any chance for a sequel, but we have a hunch that just like Nicholas Hoult who started out as a child actor, Miller will also stick around for quite a bit.
At the age of five, was when Miller says he first got trust into the spotlight. His sisters had a dance show and they were one person short, until they decided for young Miller to join them. Getting parts in commercials and TV shows in Australia not long after, Miller finally landed the role that will define his blooming career which has now propelled his name to the rest of the world.
What was your reaction when you first got the part?
I cried with happiness. I was having dinner with my family and the phone started ringing. My mum answered it and it was Joe Wright, and he asked if he could speak to Levi and so he did and gave me the news.
What was the auditioning process like?
I found out about the role through my agent. A couple of years ago, I watched “Peter Pan” and I liked how adventurous it was and how anyone could come up with Neverland. It was inspiring just to watch it and now I’m in it.
What was your first impression when you arrived in London and saw the sets?
I was amazed. It was crazy seeing all these different colours. The native village and all the different fight scenes really impressed me.
Tell me about working with Hugh. How much fun was it?
It’s quite cool. He’s so lovely when you get to know him. I’ve seen many of his films, especially “X-Men” and “Wolverine”, and also “Les Misérables”, so it was kind of cool meeting him in person.
Did you enjoy working with Rooney and Garrett as well?
Yeah, I really love working with Garrett, he’s a really nice guy and when I needed help filming a scene he’s always there to help me. I like Rooney a lot too, she helps me just like Garrett does. They’re both like brother and sister to me.
What about Joe Wright?
He’s very artistic and very friendly. He gets you into the moment. One of the first things he said to me was, “if you don’t understand a word I’m saying, tell me and I’ll explain it to you”. I kind of liked that.
What do your friends think about you playing this role. Do they know?
Yes, they do. My friends were texting me and they were loading me with all sorts of questions, like “how was it”, “how’s it going?”. That’s a good feeling, I kind of like that. I miss my friends sometimes, but I’m making new friends here, so it’s all worth it.
In between takes, what do you do?
It’s either I’m doing tutoring, which is quite a bit, or I’m sitting at the monitors watching back what Rooney, Garrett and Hugh have been filming.
Can you tell us what you think the film is going to be like and what do you expect from it?
Wow. I can’t expect anything until the movie comes out. But I’m speechless just working on it.
“Pan” opens 8 October 2015 in Singapore.