Nicholas Hamilton, our 'IT' young Hollywood star
AT 17 years of age, Alstonville teen Nicholas Hamilton is a young gun in Hollywood's standards and has two films releasing this month, both based on Stephen King's books.
The first one was The Dark Tower, and the next one is the reboot of cult 1990 TV series IT, out this Thursday, September 7, in Australia.
In IT, Hamilton plays Henry Bowers, the second villain of the story after the evil clown Pennywise.
The film tells the story of a group of bullied kids who band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.
Born in 2000 in Lismore, Nicholas Hamilton first came to industry attention with the lead role in the short film Time for which he received a Best Male Actor Award at the 2013 Tropfest Short Film Festival.
Other credits to date include guest leads in Wanted and Mako Mermaids and the short films Letter to Annabelle, Jack Rabbit, The Boy Who Stole the Belltower and Gifted.
We visited Nicholas Hamilton and his family in Alstonville, after he returned from filming The Dark Tower and IT in Canada.
Earlier this year, he was still attending some red carpets for the 2016 hit indie film Captain Fantastic, where he shared the screen with Viggo Mortensen.
The role allowed Hamilton to witness some of Hollywood's most unique moments of the last years, such as the reunion of the Lord of the Ring's cast last January.
The shooting of IT was also an opportunity for Hamilton to make friends with the new wave of Hollywood teen royalty, such as Finn Wolfhard, who gained fame as Mike Wheeler in hit TV series Stranger Things.
Another young teen star in the new production of IT is Jaeden Lieberher, who received glowing reviews for his portrayal of Alton in the 2016 mystery sci-fi Midnight Special.
Hamilton said he is getting more used to the Hollywood lifestyle as he grows older.
"I don't remember much from Captain Fantastic, because we shot when I was 14.
"I learnt to revisit those memories and find details on them.
"I like the process of Hollywood movies. I like the big hustle and bustle. I like keeping busy and on my toes."
Hamilton said it was an exhilarating experience to be part of the cast of The Dark Tower and IT.
"IT, we did all that in three months and we finished in August," he said.
"It's cool to have the whole Stephen King following looking at this so closely.
"You get this whole fan base that has been there for years from the books and the series, and it jumps on you as soon as IT announced its casting.
"It's as if you joined Stranger Things or Harry Potter, you gain that fan base."
The teen actor said facing the big fan base added a bit more pressure to the job.
"It's more fun. Captain Fantastic was not so much pressure to do a perfect, immaculate job, that makes the whole thing more relaxed and sometimes that can make the film better, but in this project there was definitely pressure," he said.
"Before I left for the IT shoot I had 750 followers on Instagram, which was nice at the time, and I came back here three months later with seven thousand," he said.
"In some ways it's good because you can tell bits of the story, tease and talk to the fans about the project you are working on.
"I've conversed with people who have been massive fans, people that have been fans of the book for 27 years, and had full on conversations about how they'd like the story to be told."
#tbt to exactly 1 year ago today. The day I got #HenryBowers' luscious locks pinned onto the back of my head for the final time on the set of #ITMovie. I'm saddened to say that since that day I've not seen that blanket of hair, but I long for the moment I get the privilege to don it again... #ITMoviePart2 😉🎈🔪 @ITMovieOfficial hits cinemas worldwide in JUST 1 WEEK!! 🎈🎈🎈
Hamilton said he still enjoys his quiet Northern Rivers life, but his plans are overseas after he finishes school.
"It's weird coming back from that sort of (Hollywood) environment, going to Canada for three months, where everyone and everything is about that film, and then you come home and then technically, none of it really matters, to be honest. I'm back to school and I'm the same person as before I left," he said.
"I think it's important to have a family like I have, that keeps me grounded and keeps me living as a local country boy, because that's who I am.
"I'm lucky enough to have a family who is also excited over all the projects that I am doing and the success that my projects have.
"I'm still going to School at Alstonville High.
"The idea is to finish school here, graduate, and then, at the end of 2018, head off to the States and live in Los Angeles. It's always been my dream to live in the middle of things."
The teen also has a plan B if the acting work becomes hard to fund in the future.
"I also love the technical side, and not only the behind the scenes stuff but also the tech world, I find it fascinating, so that's where I'd head towards if I was running out of (acting) jobs," he said.
"I can see myself behind the camera or the writing world, but we'll have to wait and see what happens."