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Asa Butterfield: ‘Hugo’ hinges on young Brit

Youth Impact Report 2011: Up Next

British-born Asa Butterfield didn’t come into the world with dreams of stardom. He was really more interested in just being a normal kid.

“My mom signed me up for this acting group, and I didn’t take it very seriously at first,” Butterfield recalls. “Now, I’m really thankful that it became this kind of opportunity, where I get to do such fun work.”

Butterfield, now 14, was discovered by agent Pippa Hall, who spotted something special in him. At the age of 8, he was balancing oodles of auditions with his schoolwork. He appeared in the TV movie “After Thomas” and the film “Son of Rambow” before his breakout performance in “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” won him the kinds of accolades that can launch a long-term career.

“It was not easy doing that part because it’s so different from what I’ve experienced,” he says. “But finding a way to be that character is part of what I love about acting.”

The young thesp clearly discovered a way to convince a top director he could handle demanding roles. This winter, Butterfield plays the title role in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo.”

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