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Interview / Only the Brave ♦ November 23, 2017

Check out this interview of Community News with Alex, wherein he discusses the film, Only the Brave. The film comes out in Australia on November 30th.

AUSTRALIAN actor Alex Russell is in surprisingly good spirits despite recently being involved in a road bingle.

Speaking to Community News while taking an Uber to his LA home after a long day filming his latest project, the NIDA graduate said he had been without his own vehicle for a couple of days.

“My car is in the shop; someone rear-ended me the other day,” he said.

“It was not serious, just enough to inconvenience me; (the guy that hit me) was the nicest guy, he was so sweet, I could not have asked for a nicer guy to be rear-ended by.

“He owned it straight away and apologised, so I couldn’t be upset with him.”

After capturing Hollywood’s attention with his performance in 2010’s Wasted on the Young, the Brisbane born actor appeared in surprise hit Chronicle, the 2013 Carrie remake and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken.

But perusing his filmography, there are two notable titles missing: he never appeared in local soapies Home & Away or Neighbours, the launching pad for fellow Aussie superstars Margot Robbie, Chris Hemsworth and Heath Ledger, to name a few.

“That was just pure luck,” he said.

“People ask me over here all the time if I was on those shows but they mess the name up, like they will ask me if I was on Far and Away, and I say ‘no I wasn’t on that show or the two others that actually exist’.

“I do have a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) about not being on those shows. I feel like it is a rite of passage.”

In his latest film, Only The Brave, Russell portrays family man Andrew Ashcraft, one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite crew of firefighters who fought the Yarnell Hill Fire in June 2013.

After braving the South American wilderness while filming Jungle, Russell faced a new set of challenges for Only The Brave dealing with real fire and scorching heat.

“Different sets offer different challenges,” he said.

“I am always wary about being a wimpy actor; we get a glimpse of the situation but at the end of the day we are actors and after a 12-hour day we go home or back to the hotel and have a drink and read our lines.

“The Hotshots stay on the line and camp there and do it the next day and the next day.

“What we did, the challenge was a fraction of what those guys do.”

Russell said the cast bonded with the real family and friends of the people they portrayed.

“We met their friends and family; we shot in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico, and they came to visit us, answered our questions and offered their opinions and feedback, showed us pictures and let us listen to voicemails,” he said.

“I am still in contact with Andrew Ashcraft’s mother Deborah. We still text each other every Monday.

“She is a strong woman and reminds me of my own mum.”

Just weeks away from his 30th birthday on December 11, Russell said the older he became, the more he appreciated his time being alive.

“The older I get, as the days roll into weeks and months and years, I find myself sobered by life’s swiftness and fragility and I think Only The Brave exemplifies that,” he said.

“It smacks some sense into me not to sweat the small stuff.”

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Izzy Gets the F--k Across Town / News ♦ November 14, 2017

Per Deadline, Izzy Gets the F Across Town is set to be released next year on March as the film gets acquired by the new Shout! Studios. The film stars Mackenzie Davis, Carrie Coon, and Alex Russell, and had a premiere at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival last June.

Shout! Factory has announced the creation of a filmed entertainment, production and distribution arm that will specialize in content development. And the company just pegged three films for a 2018 release: Sam Hoffman’s Humor Me,which will be released January 12; The House of Tomorrow for April; and Izzy Gets the F Across Town for March. Danny Baron’s Basmati Blues, starring Brie Larson and Donald Sutherland, also will bow from the label.

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Interview / Only the Brave / Video ♦ October 24, 2017

Alex, Thad Luckinbill, and Geoff Stults recently sat down with Screen Rant for a short interview to discuss their latest film, Only the Brave. Here, they talked about the chemistry between 20 men, training with Josh Brolin, and working with pyrotechnics. Check it out!

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Brampton's Own / Interview / S.W.A.T. ♦ October 21, 2017

Check out this interview of Best Life with Alex, wherein he discusses telekinesis, his upcoming show, S.W.A.T., how he got into acting, and surviving the Australian outback. Loving all these interviews/articles that feature Alex!

Your IMDB page has this absurd bit of trivia: “He has starred in two film about bullied teenagers with abusive parents who gain telekinetic powers and go on rampages:Chronicle (2012) and Carrie (2013).” Did you worry about being typecast as someone who stars in film about bullied teenagers with abusive parents who gain telekinetic powers and go on rampages?

I can’t tell you how many telekinesis movies I’ve had to turn down. [Laughs] No, I’m not worried about that at all. But I certainly was aware of the irony that the very next film I did after Chronicle was Carrie. It was odd and interesting dealing with that subject matter again. The second time around, I was jealous because I didn’t get to have the powers. Chloë Grace Moretz hogged all the powers. But I’d love to be involved in all projects like that. Anything that that’s fantastical and outside of the box but succeeds in maintaining a groundedness. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in something like that?

You’re a busy guy these days.

We just finished shooting [SWAT]. Also, I’ve been in post-production on a short film with my brother who is in Australia. It’s been a bit crazy.

That’s a tough time difference.

That’s a huge part of it. He’s 17 or 18 hours ahead. It’ll be 7 p.m. for me and 1 p.m. for him. It’s definitely been interesting. We co-directed the film. That makes it more difficult because we both have to sign off on everything. Next time, he might produce and I might direct, or vice versa. We’ve sworn to never co-direct if we can’t be in the same place at the same time.

What’s the short about?

It’s called Come Correct, which is a colloquialism that basically means show up prepared and respectful. It’s about a simple, young guy who goes into a fancy, self-indulgent cocktail lounge and orders Bundaberg Rum. It’s a low-brow drink in a high-brow establishment. The bartender kicks him out, but then the main character challenges him to a cocktail shake-off. The whole thing is this ridiculous, silly comedy about these guys battling it out in the world of mixology.

What were you shooting today for SWAT?

We were shooting in the studio. We do a lot of on-location stuff in the show, which is fun to do and helps with the authenticity level, but anything at SWAT headquarters is on the sound stage. There wasn’t too much action today, but the days are always packed. The show is so ambitious.

How is the pace of a show like SWAT different than a studio movie?

I’ve done studio movies where Roger Deckker is taking eight years go line up a shot. Then you see it and it’s like the Sistine Chapel on screen. And I’ve done the fastest, grittiest indie. We did one this year called Brampton’s Own that we shot in eight days. That’s just crazy. With SWAT, the money is there to get a certain level of production value, but it’s still crunch time every day. There’s no relaxing. It’s tight.

You have a stuntman to do most of the work but what’s the most ambitious thing that you’ve done?

The other day, we were shooting an episode where my character is driving up to a situation where we know there are some bad guys. We’re cruising up in the Dodge Charger. I’m driving. The scene plays out that the bad guys take off, I whip the car, skidding, sliding, drifting, careening around this corner. I watched it happen with the stunt drivers. They are drifting and doing all this crazy stuff with the cameras outside the car. Then they got me to get in the car. They put three cameras on the car and put Shemar Moore, the star of the show, in the passenger seat. They told me not to drift, just to go up and do a U-turn. But when I did it, I lost some traction. It was awesome. I thought to myself, “I”m driving this Dodge Charger with over $1 million in camera equipment on it and the star of the show next to me. Luckily, we have our seat belts on.”

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Jungle / Stills ♦ October 20, 2017

Jungle is out today! Check out 21 additional high-quality stills featuring Alex. Thanks to Marcie at Simply Daniel Radcliffe for these!

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Interview / Jungle / Only the Brave / S.W.A.T. ♦ October 20, 2017

Check out this interview of Entertainment Tonight with Alex, as they feature him in their spotlight with three of Alex’s projects come out simultaneously!

Meet Alex Russell, the 29-year-old Australian actor whose breakthrough role in 2012’s inventive found-footage sci-fi superhero thriller, Chronicle, has paid off in spades. Five years after the release of the film, the not-so newcomer is preparing for the simultaneous release of three projects: real-life, big-screen adaptations Jungle, opposite Daniel Radcliffe, and Only the Brave, with Miles Teller and Josh Brolin, along with the upcoming premiere of the CBS drama, S.W.A.T., starring Shemar Moore.

It’s been a nonstop ride for the actor ever since. Before 2017 rolled around, Russell — whose first credited role came just seven years ago — had a whirlwind year filming four movies back-to-back, taking him from Los Angeles to Colombia to Mexico to the Gold Coast with a quick 24-hour respite in between in Nashville to reunite with his love, Goliath star Diana Hopper, for a wedding.

The past several months, though, Russell has called Southern California home while he’s been in production on S.W.A.T., a welcomed change of pace after a jet-setting existence. “Having all of the normality, coupled with a bunch of projects coming up that I’m excited about and grateful to be a part of, it’s definitely a happy moment,” Russell tells ET.

It was Chronicle that started it all for Russell, who has fond memories of his time on the modestly budgeted film that also starred Michael B. Jordan and Dane DeHaan, both of whom have since had career boosts. “Chronicle was a huge breakthrough for me,” Russell acknowledges, recalling the painstakingly long audition process (“close to 10 hours” worth, he remembers). “It opened so many doors. I think people really appreciated the movie. I felt like it was really cool for all of us, especially for the filmmakers, the studio and the producers, to then see in movies over the next number of years taking tropes from Chronicle. I remember seeing a fight scene in [Man of Steel], where they were smashing around the buildings [and] I thought, ‘That looks a lot like the end of Chronicle,’ so that was pretty cool.”

Russell’s performance struck a chord. After Chronicle, he landed key roles in the Carrie reboot, Stephenie Meyer’s The Host and the Angelina Jolie-directed Unbroken, but it’s his current slate that has him excited to write the next chapter of his young career. As Russell tells it, Only the Brave, Jungle and S.W.A.T. are vastly different in tone and focus, but they all share common characteristics: strong writing from a creative storyteller, a timely message and an intriguing character.

“Getting to play real people is a huge responsibility,” Russell says of his characters in Only the Brave, in which he plays fallen firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, and Jungle, where he plays Radcliffe’s travel companion, Kevin Gale. Russell praised the Harry Potter star for setting the bar and stretching his acting muscle beyond the boy with a lightning bolt scar that made him famous. It’s clear there’s an element of reverence he feels for the British actor. “He’s been making really interesting, awesome choices A) to expand and challenge himself and B) to tell Hollywood, I’m not f**king Harry Potter,” Russell says.

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