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Brandon Walters
Born 1996 (age 13–14)
Broome, Western Australia
Occupation Child actor
Years active 2007–present

Brandon Walters (born 1996)[1] is an Indigenous Australian child actor known for his performance as Nullah in the 2008 film Australia.

Biography

Walters was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of six, but overcame the cancer after spending a year in a Perth hospital in 2003.[2]

Australia director Baz Luhrmann had been searching for a young aboriginal boy to fill the role of "Nullah" for over twelve months when one of the film's casting directors saw Walters with his father at a Broome swimming pool in 2007;[3] he also responded to an Australia-wide radio callout for auditions.[4] He later received a letter from Luhrmann saying that he was "very, very interested" in him. Walters, who had never before left Western Australia,[2] and a group of other boys who had auditioned for the role were flown to Sydney, New South Wales to attend acting workshops at Fox Studios Australia.[4] He and his family went camping with Luhrmann at Broome's Eighty Mile Beach, which was when Walters decided to take the role and become involved in the film.[4][5]

When Walters joined the cast, he had never heard of Nicole Kidman or Hugh Jackman, the film's stars.[3] Walters had only ever seen a few films, but was nevertheless quoted by Luhrmann as having "natural cinematic chemistry".[2][4] Though Kidman and Walters were shy upon their first meeting with each other, she said that they bonded on the set of the film and "I feel very protective of him ... [and] if the film does really well he's going to need a lot of protection";[6] reportedly, Kidman and Luhrmann set up a trust fund for Walters to secure his future.[7]

Luhrmann, who also cast Walters in a Tourism Australia advertising campaign, claimed, "Our next leading man is about four-foot high, [with] long, sort of gold hair, and is an Aboriginal boy."[8] For his performance as Nullah, Walters won a Satellite Award for New Talent[9] and received nominations for Best Young Actor at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards[10] and Most Promising Performer at the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.[11]

Artist Vincent Fantauzzo's portrait of Walters was a finalist for the 2009 Archibald Prize, ultimately winning the People's Choice Award.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Brandon Walters". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2637311/. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  2. ^ a b c Hampson, Katie (18 April 2007). "Broome boy rides high in Aussie blockbuster". The West Australian. http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=23&ContentID=26307. Retrieved 2008-11-22.  
  3. ^ a b Sams, Christine (27 May 2007). "New face of Australia". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/news/film/new-face-of-australia/2007/05/26/1179601728174.html. Retrieved 2008-11-22.  
  4. ^ a b c d Bazmark Film II (18 April 2007). "‘AUSTRALIA’ welcomes BRANDON WALTERS". Press release. http://www.westernaustralia.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF's/Australia%20Welcomes%20Brandon%20Walters.pdf. Retrieved 2008-11-22.  
  5. ^ Mills, Vanessa (17 April 2007). "Broome boy lands lead role in movie with Nicole". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2007/04/17/1899661.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-22.  
  6. ^ Tedmanson, Sophie (18 November 2008). "Brandon Walters - the real star of Australia". London: The Times. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article5177965.ece. Retrieved 2008-11-22.  
  7. ^ Goldsmith, Belinda (18 November 2008). "Brandon Walters - the real star of Australia". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE4AH1M120081118. Retrieved 2008-11-22.  
  8. ^ "Baz Luhrmann tips big things for Australia star Brandon Walters". Herald Sun. 9 October 2008. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24467481-5006023,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-22.  
  9. ^ Kilday, Gregg (15 December 2008). "'Slumdog,' 'Happy' top Satellite nods". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3ia42e757920d92779055f5ff55c6dd933?pn=2. Retrieved 2009-01-29.  
  10. ^ "Brandon Walters US Critic's Choice Best Young Actor nominee". The Daily Telegraph. 12 December 2008. http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,24786893-5013178,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-29.  
  11. ^ Chicago Film Critics Association (December 2008). "Chicago Film Critics Association Announces 2008 Nominees". Press release. http://www.chicagofilmcritics.org/index.php?view=article&catid=3%3Anewsflash&id=60%3Achicago-film-critics-association-announce-2008-nominees&option=com_content&Itemid=65. Retrieved 2009-01-29.  
  12. ^ "Fantauzzo wins Archibald People's Choice". Nine News. 14 May 2009. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/entertainment/813732/fantauzzo-wins-archibald-peoples-choice. Retrieved 2009-05-21.  

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