Wonder: Interview with Star Jacob (Room) Tremblay

Preparation for Film

Jacob Tremblay: This was the first time I’ve ever worn prosthetics. I was so excited to try it on the first time because I’ve done it before and they were telling me this is what Johnny Depp does. So when I was…I remember they had a bunch of different pieces of prosthetic, it wasn’t just one piece. It usually took two hours and a half to put it on and then half an hour to take it off. They had a neck piece which went up from my cheeks to my ears, but they didn’t do it all the way they just left these things down and so they could put on a helmet which was connected to a mechanism which pulled down my lower eyelids. And then they did up the cheeks. And then they had the main face piece which they then glued on. And then the wig, but it wasn’t touching my scalp so it wasn’t itchy because I had the helmet on. So that was good. But it was itchy and it was hot and it was challenging. But I would still do it again in a heartbeat. Playing Auggie was such an honor. First off, what better character could you play? He’s brave, he’s confident and he’s true to himself.

 

Seeing himself in Mirror

JT: When I saw myself in the mirror for the first time, well it looks really realistic, even without the CGI. But honestly, wearing the prosthetics really did help me become Auggie and use my imagination.

 

Working with Julia Roberts

JT: To have Julia Roberts as your mom and also to have Owen Wilson as your dad, Julia Roberts she’s so nice and I learned so much from her just by watching her act. I saw how focused she is and how intact she is with her character. And most importantly I saw how kind she is to cast and crew and that really just taught me, no matter how famous you are you can always treat others respectfully.

 

Bullying in School

JT: I haven’t been majorly bullied like Auggie has, but I have been picked on a little bit because I’m kind of short for my age. But I told my parents which is probably one of the best things you can do because my parents said, she never wanted me to hold anything negative on my shoulders. So I told her and she told me to kill them with kindness, and if that never worked just ignore them.

 

Looking Different?

 JT: I definitely did notice eople staring at me, especially with background kids how they were staring at me and that as well helped me feel like Auggie. It helped me feel like I was being stared at and helped me get into the mood of my character.

 

Talking to People

JT: I actually reached out to a group of kids from Sick Kids Hospital from Toronto who are affected by facial differences and I asked them if they could send me any letters of experiences or tips or anything they just wanted me to know. And later I got all these letters and I have them with me. And I put them in a binder, I have with me all the time on set and I would read them before I did my emotional scenes. And later after filming I got to meet them and I got to watch all their short films because they were learning about short films at the time. And before I did “Wonder” as well, I went to the CCA Retreat, which is for families affected by facial differences and they get together and just have a good time. My family and I, we went there and we just made so many friends and we had a great time.

 

Favorite Actors: Johnny Depp

JT: Johnny Depp is one of my most favorite actors. I think he’s pretty cool because I’m interested in prosthetics as well as him. And he can be so many different characters like Mad Hatter, an Jack Sparrow. That’s the first time I’ve forgotten that guy’s name.

 

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