James Frecheville makes his feature film acting debut in Animal Kingdom playing J, a teenage boy who goes to live with his grandmother Janine, played by Jacki Weaver, after the death of his mother. J is exposed to a world of violence and criminality via his four uncles, in particular the very dangerous Pope, played by Ben Mendelsohn.
While promoting Animal Kingdom I spoke with James and Luke Ford, who plays J’s youngest uncle Darren. The pair spoke about creating the dynamics between the family members and in particular Ben Mendelsohn’s methods of creating tension on set that would carry over into the film. James spoke about the key scene in the film where J’s virtually blank exterior breaks down during a brief outpouring of emotion and Luke, who previously won an Australian Film Institute award for his portrayal of an autistic boy in The Black Balloon, spoke about how he gets into the head of a character.
This interview was recorded on Monday 24 May 2010 and then played on The Casting Couch on Saturday 29 May 2010. The interview took place in the hotel where the actors were staying so the sound quality is not as good as a studio recording.
Download link (interview running time = 8:50)