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Aussie actor stands out in sci-fi tale of a "perfect" world

Brenton Thwaites in The Giver.
Brenton Thwaites in The Giver. Roadshow Films

COLOUR, its presence and absence, plays a significant role in the new sci-fi drama The Giver.

Young Aussie actor Brenton Thwaites stars opposite Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep in the film, which is set in a seemingly perfect world where peace has been achieved by strict enforcement of sameness and obedience via emotion and impulse-numbing injections.

The Queensland export plays Jonas, a teen chosen for the important role of the community's next Receiver, who is judged to have the mental and emotional capacity to keep knowledge of all humanity's past horrors and joys.

The aging receiver-turned-giver, played by Bridges, must share the memories with Jonas and one of the first he chooses is colour.


"There was this red apple I was working with and for some reason the colour made me laugh," Thwaites told APN.

"Jeff and everyone on set were looking at me going 'you're an idiot, you're laughing at a red apple'.

"I had put all this work and all this thought into trying to portray the astonishment of finding colour for the first time. It was just a matter of playfulness and trying out different things."

The film is based on Lois Lowry's 1993 dystopian children's novel, in which genetic engineering is used to create homogeny in the hope of eliminating emotions such as jealousy and hatred.

Children are born in a nurturing centre and assigned to designated families. It is a world devoid of violence but also freedom.

Thwaites' rule-abiding on-screen parents are played by True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard and Katie Holmes.

"Whilst they are showing affection and comfort and support to their children, they can't give too much because there isn't love in this community," he said.

"I felt they had the perfect balance in making us believe they support their children and something being a little off."

The rising talent shares many of his scenes with Bridges, and is full of praise for the screen legend.

"He inspires a very creative environment on set," Thwaites said.

Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites in The Giver.
Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites in The Giver. Roadshow Films

Cairns-born Thwaites, 25, has come a long way since landing his first recurring role in Foxtel's Brisbane-set teen drama SLiDE three years ago.

Next month he has another big film, Son of a Gun, premiering and he recently finished filming Gods of Egypt, which also stars Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush and Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

"I also worked on a film written and directed by Helen Hunt called Ride coming out at the beginning of next year," he said.

"At the moment I am just excited for my movies to be released and I'm just grateful to be back home for a visit."

The Giver is in cinemas now.

Topics:  meryl streep



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