A 14 year old Ghanaian street vendor, Abraham Attah, without any knowledge or experience in acting has been crowned the Marcello Mastroianni’s Best Young Actor award at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.
Abraham was picked by Hollywwod Movie Director, Cary Fukunaga to star in Netflix’s soon to be released movie “Beasts of No Nation”.
According to businessinsider.com , Director Cary Fukunaga explained to that :
“The lead in ‘Beasts of No Nation’ was essentially a street vendor before we shot the film who had “zero film experience, little education…but he became a somewhat professional actor, which was astounding to watch.”
Abraham Attah played the role of an 11-year-old kid soldier in the movie who was recruited into the fold of warlord “Luther”played by Idris Elba who controlled a militant group in an Africa setting.
The director further explained that:
“We gathered a bunch of kids who had potential, about 30 of them, and we did this theater workshop and tried scenes that were in the script, and we would improvise. The kids are fast learners, they quickly understood that the better they did the longer they stayed [ as potential casts]”
He further explained that Abraham performed extremely well and gradually progressed tpo take that role that they needed.
“We had a difficult one long take that he had to perform; probably the most intense thing I ever asked him to do in the film. He had six or seven kids around him performing [in the scene], and I watched him become a leader among these kids and make sure they stayed in focus and not f— up the shot so they didn’t have to do it over again. I gave almost no direction to those kids. Abraham was driving that scene.”
The director states that he will not adopt Abraham but because of his poor educational background his outfit will take responsibility for education back in Ghana.
“For Abraham, he’s only 14 so we had to get him up to speed in school, so right now we put him into boarding school back in Ghana so he can get up to normal 14 year old academics. By nature of us crossing into these people’s lives you have some responsibility there to make their lives better, but at the same time you’re not adopting a child, by any means.”
Source : newsghana.com.gh