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Craig Roberts: Dives deep with ‘Submarine’

Youth Impact Report 2010: Up Next

“I started acting when I was about 9 years old, basically because I couldn’t play football,” says 19-year-old Craig Roberts. Instead, the young Brit starting trying out for roles, landing a part in Antonia Bird’s 2000 TV movie “Care” on his very first audition. That appearance led to a decade’s worth of roles on British television, including one as a vampire’s best friend on “Young Dracula.”

American auds will likely see him for the first time in “Submarine,” a crowd-pleasing coming-of-age comedy acquired by the Weinstein Co. at the Toronto Film Festival last month. In adapting Joe Dunthorne’s YA novel, writer-director Richard Ayoade needed a likable young actor to play the film’s 15-year-old lead role, a character who has a tendency to rub audiences the wrong way, the way then-newcomer Jason Schwarzman did in “Rushmore.”

“As soon as I read it, I was like, ‘This kid is in essentially every scene,'” Roberts recalls. “And I thought, Have they not got Michael Cera or someone for this part already? because it was just so well written. But we sent in a tape, and I got a callback, and now we’re here.”

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