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Kiwi kid cast in Hollywood blockbuster

LBF Kids Talent, Auckland, 12 November 2014: An unknown child spotted in his brother’s audition tape wins a coveted role in a major movie.

Last week that dream became reality for 10-year old Dylan Farrell of Pukekohe. Dylan and his Mum, Danielle, flew overseas and spent ten days filming on the Hollywood action thriller – Mechanic Resurrection starring Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, and Michelle Yeoh.

“He spent a few days in a bit of a daze after we got the news,” says Danielle. “You’d have to work pretty hard to wipe the smile off his dial.”

It’s a stellar opportunity for the Auckland youngster, who has no previous acting credits and auditioned for the role almost by accident.

A few months ago, an international casting studio approached Auckland child and teen talent agency, LBF Kids Talent, seeking help to find child actors for two different roles in the film.

The Director of LBF Kids Talent, Liz Baldwin-Featherstone, worked closely with the casting studio to select leading young talent within her agency to fit the desired profile. The children were provided with a script and asked to submit an audition by video.

Dylan was helping his brother record an audition for a different role in the film, when his on-screen presence caught Baldwin-Featherstone and the casting director’s attention.

“Dylan is amazing on camera,” says Baldwin-Featherstone. He is focused and intense with a quiet stillness about him. He also has an incredibly flexible and athletic body, thanks to years of gymnastics training.

Danielle recorded an audition for Dylan, which Baldwin-Featherstone sent to the casting director along with video recordings of other LBF Kids Talent actors. Two children from the agency were shortlisted by the studio.

Baldwin-Featherstone says Dylan’s casting is a coup for the New Zealand film industry.

“International agents are recognising our talent and the strength of our support systems,” says Baldwin-Featherstone. “They’re willing to come to New Zealand and search for what they need.

“LBF Kids Talent has a great working relationship with the casting studio. The door is wide open for future opportunities.”