One of my favourite things about set teaching is all of the cool kids that we meet along the way, so I’ve created this category of the blog, ‘Do You Know Where Your Children Are?’ to highlight what they are up to. One of my favourite kids and a young fellow I met early on in my set teaching days is Alex Ferris. I think we first met on Masters of Horror, back when he was 8 years old.
Well, I was very pleased to see this article on Alex in the Vancouver Sun two weeks ago and to see that Alex had been nominated a second year running for a Young Artists Award. Congratulations Alex! And congrats on the opening of your latest film, The Time Traveler’s Wife!
At 12, young Vancouver actor is already a veteranBy Peter Birnie, Vancouver SunAugust 14, 2009
How does a young actor break into show business? Here’s one approach:
“Dear Agent, I am a very cute boy, I am smart, and you should hire me — Alex Ferris.”
Go ahead, laugh all you want. But that brief missive worked, and the seven-year-old lad whose mother forwarded the letter and a photo to a talent agency has had a busy career in film and television ever since.
Alex Ferris went for his first audition, and “booked” it — that means he got the part. He worked with Hollywood veteran Jon Voigt in the TV movie The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and has been busy ever since.
Now 12, Ferris can be seen the feature films RV, The Invisible, Runaway Vacation, Memory and X3. Or you can turn on the TV to catch him in The L Word, Terminal City, Harper’s Island, Stargate SGI, Smallville and Supernatural, among others.
Then there’s his regular job doing voiceover work at Dick & Roger’s, a Gastown sound studio, which takes Ferris away from Kerrisdale public school.
“I regularly have to miss half a day on Wednesday,” he explains, “because I do a show called Martha Speaks. It’s a cartoon on PBS.”
For his role in New Line Cinema’s feature film The Time Traveler’s Wife, which opens today, Ferris took three trips to Toronto (“We worked late nights and it was really freezing cold,” he notes) and missed a big chunk of school.
Strict rules for young actors meant that he had to make up his studies each day with tutors on set.
“It definitely limits my free time, but not so much if I work really hard at the end of the day,” he says.
“Complete focus, I can really get a lot done.”
For two years running, Ferris has been nominated for a Young Artist Award. That means a trip to Los Angeles and a chance to hang with his peers.
“It was a blast,” he enthuses. “A ton of other kids, and I got a few autographs — Emma Roberts, some people from Zoey 101, two people from Bridge to Terabithia, and Corey in the House.”
Ferris is next booked for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a movie based on the popular series of children’s books by Jeff Kinney. Although he enjoys collecting pre-teen travel points, the actor is happy to be working on that project in Vancouver.
“We have quite a good industry and there’s a lot of filming done here,” he says matter-of-factly. “But I’ll go wherever a job takes me.”