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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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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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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.

Continue reading

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Events / Gallery / Only the Brave ♦ October 10, 2017

Alex attended the world premiere of Only the Brave two days ago in California. His girlfried, Diana, was there to support him as well. There’s not much photos, but I have added 5 of Alex into the gallery. The film is out in theaters on October 20.

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Films / Only the Brave / Video ♦ September 14, 2017

Check out the new trailer for Only the Brave, previously known as Granite Mountain. The film stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, and Jennifer Connelly, and will be out in theaters on October 20th.

All men are created equal… then, a few become firefighters. Only the Brave, based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, is the heroic story of one unit of local firefighters that through hope, determination, sacrifice, and the drive to protect families, communities, and our country become one of the most elite firefighting teams in the country. As most of us run from danger, they run toward it – they watch over our lives, our homes, everything we hold dear, as they forge a unique brotherhood that comes into focus with one fateful fire.

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Goldstone / Interview / Only the Brave ♦ July 07, 2016

Check out this interview of Sydney Morning Herald with Alex, wherein he talks about Goldstone and his latest project, Granite Mountain.

Out in the backblocks of New Mexico, Alex Russell is enjoying a well-earned day off.

It’s the Fourth of July holiday weekend and the in-demand Australian actor is cooling off after another taxing week on the set of Granite Mountain.

It’s a Hollywood drama about a group of firefighters caught up in a deadly wildfire that is directed by Tron: Legacy‘s Joseph Kosinski and co-stars Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Taylor Kitsch.

“The last shot yesterday we had was a plane flying overhead, dumping slurry and water near us with a real backburn lit,” Russell says. “The heat coming off it was tremendous – it was only a few feet high, but it was three times hotter than a normal fire because movie fires use diesel for a slow burn. We were really feeling it.”

The 28-year-old has been feeling for it for a while now. Prior to starting Granite Mountain, he starred alongside Daniel Radcliffe in the forthcoming Jungle, which was shot in Queensland’s tropical north. Before that he spent six weeks in the state’s desert outback, making Goldstone, an Australian crime thriller from the writer-director Ivan Sen.

“I need to play a businessman in an air-conditioned office sipping a latte where the only continuity required is refilling that latte for every take,” says the affable Russell. “I’d really like that.”

Goldstone brings back Jay Swan, the laconic Indigenous police detective played by Aaron Pedersen, who was at the centre of Sen’s acclaimed Mystery Road in 2014.

Assigned a missing person’s case in a remote town, the troubled lawman has to work with Russell’s Josh, the sole local police officer and someone who’s either ignored the corruption Jay uncovers or shepherded it.

“I thought it was the best Australian script I’d ever read,” Russell says. “I was so impressed with, on one hand, the heart of it, the authenticity, and the beautiful voice. Then, on the other hand, how great the structure was. As an artist you check things off and it had this grounded integrity, but it was still going to be super entertaining.”

Amidst Sen’s evocatively sparse filmmaking, and a supporting cast that includes Jacki Weaver and David Wenham, Russell’s performance is increasingly tightly wound, showing how the “she’ll be right” mentality can take you to the very cusp of breaking bad.

“You realise that Josh is a guy who’s chosen the easy way, as so many of us, including me, do all the time. And they’re never the moments you’re proud of, because growth comes with the tougher route,” he says. “He needs someone like Jay to come along and challenge his integrity.”

The son of a surgeon father and nurse mother who grew up in Rockhampton and graduated from NIDA, Russell has been on cinema screens for all of six years.

He had his first Hollywood hit in 2012 with the teen superpowers thriller Chronicle, and since then has alternated roles in blockbusters such as Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken with Australian smaller productions such as Cut Snake and now Goldstone.

“I love being a part of great stories and I love being at home in my own country,” Russell says. “The fact that we make some awesome films and that sometimes I get to be a part of them makes me really happy. I’ll always, always do that.”

Russell is also part of Five Lip Films, a collective of young Australian creatives divided between Sydney and Los Angeles. He’s been involved in the writing and directing of three short films, with a fourth on the way and a feature film, Sons of Salt, in development through Screen Australia.

It helps balance out the commercial demands of Hollywood, although Russell believes in the creative worth of the movie industry’s epicentre.

“People with great talent and a great deal behind them are always ready to sit down and give you advice on your script or the cut of your short film,” Russell says. “There’s definitely an icky element in Hollywood, but there’s also something special about driving around the back lots of famous studios where some of the greatest films of all time were created. I truly believe in the magic of it all.”

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