A seven-year-old Kyneton boy has made his acting debut in an episode of new ABC television series Fires.
Felix Deadman stars alongside Sam Worthington and Eliza Scanlen in episode four of the six-part series, which takes us back to the traumatic summer of 2019-20 as bushfires raged across the country.
Felix has always wanted to be an actor and takes lessons with Paul Canlan’s Storyboard Drama and dances with his mother Rachelle Kellett’s Steps Performing Arts dance school in the Macedon Ranges.
“From a very young age he started memorising TV shows and reciting poems, dialogue and actions from TV shows and films,” Rachelle said.
“And because I run a dance school he’s always been around theatres and shows.”
Rachelle said director Kim Mordaunt wanted to authentically cast a child with autism for the role of Ethan.
“Kim was very impressed with all of Felix’s performances, and told us so after shooting each scene. After the car scene, he said ‘I can’t believe how good he is at storytelling’,” Rachelle said.
“We were on set for two weeks at Arthurs Creek and they were so inclusive of all of us.
“Jayson (Felix’s father) and I spent our time with the director and crew and they were so welcoming, it was a really positive experience for all of us.”
Felix told the Express that acting was his favourite thing to do.
“I loved working with Kim and my TV family out on location, it was so much fun,” he said.
“I can’t wait to see my finished scenes on the TV screen. Maybe my mum and dad will get me some more LEGO because it will be so good!”
Inspired by true events, Fires tells the story of everyday Australians at the frontline of the devastating Black Saturday fires.
The episode featuring Felix explores how community comes together to support each other in times of tragedy and loss.
Created by Tony Ayres (The Slap, Stateless) and Belinda Chayko (Safe Harbour), Fires also stars Hunter Page-Lochard, Richard Roxburgh, Anna Torv, Miranda Otto and Noni Hazlehurst.
Heartbreak, loss, heroism, humanity and community. Sundays 8.40pm on ABC iview and ABC TV.