“I’m a boy that doesn’t know outside.”
With that succinct description in a new featurette, Jacob Tremblay perfectly encapsulates his character in “Room,” a performance that won him a prize for breakthrough performance from the National Board of Review on Tuesday.
From the moment Emma Donoghue’s bestselling book was published in 2010, there was buzz of a film adaptation. But the biggest question that loomed was who would play Jack, the 5-year-old boy who has lived his entire life inside a small room, unaware that a whole world exists outside.
Since the film’s festival premieres at Telluride and Toronto (where it won the audience award), praise has been heaped on the 9-year-old Tremblay, who was only 8 when he filmed “Room.” It would be unfair to simply call his work great for a child actor; his turn as Jack is a complex, fully-realized portrayal that ranks amongst the year’s best.
In this new featurette, we get to see Tremblay goofing around on set and hear co-stars Joan Allen and Brie Larson heap praise on the young actor. Tremblay himself has said that the shoot for “Room” was not difficult, “because I was playing a happy child” who isn’t aware of his circumstances.
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Larson, who plays his mother, notes, “His innocence through this entire process is what I think all of us, the crew included, really held onto. Having that ability to just sort of go into his world made the whole thing so much easier. And that’s the beauty of a child.”