Kodi Smit-McPhee

For a guy who won an AFI award as best young actor for his debut film, Richard Roxburgh’s Romulus, My Father in 2007 when he was 11, Kodi Smit-McPhee has a remarkably grounded approach to his profession.

“I think the secret of my success is having an innocent mind, which has nothing to do with fame,” Kodi, now aged 22, tells IF from the Adelaide set of Seth Larney’s 2067.

After scoring his international breakthrough at the age of 13 opposite Viggo Mortensen in John Hillcoat’s The Road and playing Alexander in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse, he reflects: “I have grounded myself in a healthy place. I did not see myself ending up where I am.”

In Larney’s sci-fi mystery thriller set in a deforested and oxygen-deprived world – the result of climate change – he plays Ethan Whyte, a narcissistic underground tunnel worker who embarks on a journey through time that tests his faith in himself and in humanity.

Ryan Kwanten plays Jude Mathers, who serves as Ethan’s protector and his conscience, with Aaron Glenane as Richard Whyte, Ethan’s father, and Storm Boy’s Finn Little as the young Ethan.

“It’s a movie that will make people think about our position in the world and question our own lives now and where our fate could be leading, what are we here for and our relationships with those we love,” Kodi says. “This is my favourite film I’ve worked on because of the power of its message.”

After receiving the script he was so impressed he quickly arranged a Skype chat with Larney and discovered they see the world in similar ways. “Seth is so giving, so passionate and super-creative,” he says. He hails Kwanten’s performance as “out of the park” and he could not be more impressed with Little, observing: “He is freakin’ awesome.”

Shout! Studios pre-bought North American rights to the film produced by Arcadia’s Lisa Shaunessy and Kojo Entertainment’s Kate Croser, funded by Screen Australia, the SAFC and Create NSW. Umbrella Entertainment will distribute in ANZ.

Smit-McPhee reprises his role as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler in director Simon Kinberg’s X Men: Dark Phoenix, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.

He can’t say much about his character or the plot except to note that, while it’s obviously a superhero movie, it’s driven by relationships. Fox has postponed the launch from next February to June 7 after ordering re-shoots.

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