Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Nine-year-old Room star Jacob Tremblay ‘still getting used to’ fame

For one Hollywood star, the highlight of their festival week was not walking down the red carpet on opening night. It was a visit to Wild Wadi.
Canadian actor Jacob Tremblay during the Dubai International Film Festival at Koubba Bar at Al Qasr Hotel in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National
Canadian actor Jacob Tremblay during the Dubai International Film Festival at Koubba Bar at Al Qasr Hotel in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

For one Hollywood star, the highlight of festival week was not walking down the red carpet on opening night. Not appearing onstage at DIFF to present their Oscar-tipped, universally feted new movie. Not even being nominated, coincidentally on the same night, for a coveted Screen Actors Guild Award.

It’s a visit to Wild Wadi.

Meet Jacob Tremblay, the talented nine-year-old star of opening film Room. Promoting the movie took him to the esteemed Toronto International Film Festival in September. But he prefers DIFF.

“I really like this one, because I like the beach and I’m really excited to go to Wild Wadi,” he said.

“Also, I’ve never been in a hotel where it’s like a huge building like this. I had to take a boat to get here.”

The youngster poignantly plays the role of Jack, who spends the first five years of his life locked between four walls with his mother, who is being held by an abusive captor. After Jack plays a crucial role in orchestrating their escape, mother and son alike are faced with the freedom of the big, bad world.

“The hardest part of filming Room was having to cry, because I have to switch into a sad character from a nice character,” he says.

“My mum cries watching it, but I don’t.”

His favourite scene is a pivotal moment midway when Jack cuts his shoulder-length hair, as a show of strength to his mother (played Brie Larson, who he keeps in touch with “on Twitter and Instagram”).

“It wasn’t real, it was a wig,” he says. “It was a pretty real wig, it felt kind of itchy.”

Room may be Tremblay’s first major role, but the movie’s runaway critical success has ensured he will stay on screens, with four more movies currently in post-production for a 2016 release. His dream, he says, is to appear in one of the upcoming Star Wars movies — we later spot him in a Star Wars tracksuit — something which by no means seems impossible following such experience and exposure. But even if that dream doesn’t come true, his role in Room is enough to ensure Trembley will never live a strictly normal life.

“It’s a kind of thing I’m still getting used to,” he says, wise beyond his years.

Room is expect to be released in the UAE on December 24.

Updated: December 11, 2015 04:00 AM

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