Young students land acting roles in blockbuster movies

Brandon Pohlhammer with Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones
Brandon Pohlhammer with Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones

Young up-and-coming actors from 1066 Country have landed parts in several blockbuster films.

Talented students from The Hastings Stage Studio star alongside well-known actors and actresses in movies currently being screened at the cinema, such as The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game.

Brandon Pohlhammer, aged nine, from St Leonards, plays the nephew of Stephen Hawking in the six-times nominated Oscar film The Theory of Everything.

He stars alongside Eddie Redmayne, who plays the role of the famous astrophysicist, and Felicity Jones, who plays fellow Cambridge University student Jane Wilde in a wedding scene set in the 1960s.

The film is a biographical romantic drama film from the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking, which deals with her relationship with her ex-husband, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, his diagnosis of motor neuron disease, and his success in physics.

Brandon said: “It was fantastic working with Eddie and Felicity. They were really nice and we laughed a lot and talked about some other movies we’ve been in lately.”

Brandon can also be seen in the new series of Sky TV show Yonderland, where he plays the leading lady Debbie’s young son Ben.

The Imitation Game starring Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the Enigma code-breaker Alan Turing, features several Hastings Stage Studio students who were selected to play wartime evacuees in London.

Filming took place in the authentically transformed King’s Cross Station and a bombed-out Chancery Lane littered with war-damaged 1940s vehicles.

The young actors were excited to be working with two of their cinema heroes and especially loved hanging out with Benedict on the steam train between takes.

Nyah Braisby, nine, of St Leonards, said: “He was really charming and fun to spend time with.”

Vanessa Pohlhammer, Hastings Stage Studio director and agent, said: “In addition to the amazing professional experience, this film also gave the kids a fantastic first-hand history lesson on the Blitz in London.”

Students from Hastings Stage Studio also star in Testament of Youth, an autobiographical film about author Vera Brittain and her love affair during the First World War.

Supporting actor Rory Francis, 20, of Catsfield, said: “We had an amazing time filming on the Oxford campus. It was a great experience and has spurred us on, building a foundation for even bigger roles in the future.”