Australian teen actor Callan McAuliffe has secured the lead role in upcoming UK film Our Robot Overloads alongside screen legend Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson.
McAuliffe, who recently filmed Japanese anime Kite opposite Samuel L. Jackson, is also soon to hit Australian cinema screens playing the young Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.
Our Robot Overloads follows the story of Sean Flynn (McAuliffe) who goes in search for his estranged father in the middle of a war between humans and robots.
McAuliffe, 18, is the first to admit being involved in an action-robot film is a teenage boy’s dream come true.
“Of course I’m pumped,” he tells IF on a long-distance phone call from LA. “As a teenage guy it’s always good fun to do an action film every now and again.
“It’s a group piece but I’m definitely one of the leads which I’m very grateful for.”
McAuliffe also talks of his excitement about acting opposite industry great Ben Kingsley.
“It’s going to be pretty great. I just watched Iron Man 3 in which he was my favourite character, so I’m really looking forward to having some conversations with him about that.”
Starring alongside Hollywood royalty is becoming part of everyday life for Sydney-born McAuliffe, who admits that meeting Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of Gatsby was a career highlight.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with some big names over the past few years,” McAuliffe says. “But Leo (DiCaprio) was probably the only person where I had to stand back for a moment and say ‘Wow.’
“I’m more used to it now. There are so many famous people in Los Angeles.”
McAuliffe has the next three weeks in LA before flying to London to commence rehearsal on Our Robot Overloads, for which he is required to don a British accent.
“I’m often hired to do a US accent, and living in the states it’s not hard to jump onto because I am surrounded by it,” McAuliffe says. “But I’m really looking forward to spending a couple of weeks in London just to pick (the British) accent up. I really want to get an inoffensive and accurate British accent down.”
Of his seemingly overnight success, McAuliffe says he has been working away at his career longer than most people may think.
“I mean it’s been a slower process than it would seem, I’ve just happened to have a couple of big films in recent years, for which I am immensely grateful for,” he says. “I’ve been in LA for three years now… I’ve been working at it for a while. Obviously far less than other people have been in the industry, but I was lucky in that I had a lot of great people helped me along the way.”
The Great Gatsby hits Australian cinemas on May 30.