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Interview – 13yr old Devin Brochu of "Hesher"

devinbrochu1.jpgHesher may have scored one of the biggest distribution deals at Sundance on the weight of names like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman, but it’s Devin Brochu’s breakout turn that makes the drama’s biggest impression. Playing T.J., the disaffected youth at the film’s center, 13-year-old Brochu takes a serious licking — he endures everything from eating urinal cakes to being threatened with hedge clippers to getting tossed around by heavy machinery. That he manages through it all to render such an astoundingly mature performances is a testament to his talent. We caught up with Devin minutes after taking questions from an enthusiastic Sundance screening, and were relieved to find a sweet, well-adjusted and thoughtful kid on the cusp of something big.

Was there something about this script that spoke to you?
Yeah! I really liked the script. I thought it was a great story, and I loved T.J. And I got to work with all these incredible actors — Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson, Piper Laurie.

You seem like a pretty happy, well-adjusted guy, and T.J. is a pretty miserable kid. Were you ever doubtful you’d be able to tap into all of that pain?
It was really hard to get there. I mean, this kid is tortured. He tries to get through every single day. It’s just so sad. I would have to go over it a lot with [director Spencer Susser], and [acting coach] Chris Neil was on set and would help me. We just took a lot of notes and talked about it a lot. I would think about different sad things that would help me get there.

Like what?
I thought about my dog Marley. She was a Doberman, and was around even before I was alive. She passed away a few years ago, and I just loved her so much. I just thought of that and it made me really emotional and sad.

There’s a scene where you go to group therapy for families in mourning. Even though those were just actors, that must have been very difficult to shoot.
Yeah. It was different.

What was your first meeting with Spencer like?
I went back a few times. He wanted to make sure we fit together well, and understand each other. He said he didn’t want it to be acting, he wanted it to be “real.” He helped me a lot.

This movie could really change things for you. Are you ready for that?
Yeah! Hopefully it will!

What are you hoping comes next?
I’m hoping another big thing. I have a couple of auditions coming up, but hopefully like you said, this will do a lot for me.

Tell me about your relationship with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Joe’s awesome. He started when he was young, just like me. So he knows what you have to do to be a good actor. He showed me so many good things, and gave me such great pointers. We really bonded together. He’s just a really great person and actor.

What’s a tip he gave you?
We would do different things to prepare for a scene. We’d do our rock n’ roll scream, which was when it was a very intense scene and you had to be mad, we’d just scream at the top of our lungs.

You take a lot of physical abuse in this movie. Did you have a stuntman?
Yeah, we had two stunt people.

Were they little people?
They were adults, in their 20s. They were kind of small, my size. The funny thing is that they were both girls — Emily and Kelly. They’re awesome.

And you give as good as you get. Did any of those moments result in someone getting accidentally hurt? How about when you kicked Joe in the groin?
[Laughs] Yeah. I had to learn how to kick him right and everything.

Finally, what’s your favorite movie scene of all time?
Let’s see. I like Rocky! I guess my favorite scene is him training so hard, and since he’s the underdog usually, it ends up with him winning. It feels, good, you know? He works so hard and everything.

Posted via web from MovieDriver – Hollywood Teamster

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