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Interview / Photoshoots & Portraits ♦ November 07, 2017

Alex recently shared 10 Fun Facts about him with Just Jared. Check out the list below and some outtakes in our gallery!

  • 1. I love singing… classical, musical theatre (My earliest acting experiences were actually musicals), jazz and so forth. I also enjoy tap dancing.
  • 2. I love skateboarding and consider it an art form.
  • 3. I love rap and enjoy free-styling (though whether or not my free style rap is good varies from effort to effort).
  • 4. I can stretch my lips completely around the rim of a beer glass – my party trick. **Insert wisecrack here**
  • 5. I have a keloid scar in the shape of a smiley on my arm given to me by my friend Kent Rowe using the scalding metal tip of a cigarette lighter in art class when I was sixteen. … Proud parents.
  • 6. I was a fat kid.
  • 7. I was bullied as a kid (often for being fat or some derivation thereof).
  • 8. When I was a toddler, if ever I wanted someone to carry me I would stand in front of them and say, “carry you, carry you!” My Nanna – my Mum’s Mother, the brilliant Joyce O’Driscoll, once told me I couldn’t come to the shops because she would not carry me. “I’ll walk, Nanna, I’ll walk!”“You will not!”

    “I will, I’ll walk!”

    “Alright.”

    We got across the street and not much farther than that.

    “Carry YOU, Nanna! Carry YOU!”

    She made me walk.

    I’ve sometimes wondered if I was merely offering to actually carry my Nanna, despite being a tiny child all of three or so and if I didn’t have my words mixed around at all!

  • 9. When I was twenty-one and standing on the sidewalk in the Sydney central business district, I found myself in hot pursuit of a thief. With a mild awareness of the midnight launching of a new video game across the street, I suddenly heard fast footsteps and someone calling out something to do with them being robbed. I took off after him, rounded a corner and caught up to him. As he was backing away from me, he broke the game in his hands (I was told later, by some technicality, this made it harder to prove he was guilty). He swung at me and connected. I bear hugged him and used all my weight to get him to the ground, calling out for help. He then bit me. Nearby civilians came to help me keep him there while the police were called. One man who came to my aid was an American police officer on vacation! We held him there. After a while, while trying to escape, he head-butted me. Not cool.He was taken into custody. I didn’t press charges. I had just finished drama school and had the most important agency meeting of all the following morning. I showed up with a gigantic black eye and a bite mark on my forearm. The agency and I decided to work together.

    I then got a tetanus shot.

  • 10. When I was about fourteen, at musical practice in high school, some older students saw me playing with a hula hoop and dubbed me “R.G.” which stood for “rhythmic gymnast.” This became my nickname in high school for years along with its successor “taf-karg”“T.A.F.K.A.R.G.”

    “The Artist Formerly Known As R.G.”

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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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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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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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Interview ♦ November 19, 2014

Check out this interview of The Daily Telegraph with Alex Russell, where he talks about films and some of his next projects.

The NIDA graduate says he’s willing to try a bit of everything in Hollywood, from leading action man to romantic comedies, and isn’t one of those actors who is only interested in indie films.

“I love all genres of film, as long as they are done well in so much as they are not lazy and relying on the genre,” Russell said ahead of attending tonight’s GQ Men Of The Year Awards.

“They have to have something unique to say. The most simple action movie can be breathtaking even to the greatest artists as well as someone who is looking for something more simple. I love action movies, I love rom-coms, it is not all about art house.’’

The 26-year-old, originally from Rockhampton, landed himself one of the lead roles in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, which had its world premiere in Sydney on Monday.

It was a major break for the actor, who has also starred in Hollywood films, Chronicle
and Carrie.

“I feel fortunate, it is a real ride,” he said of Unbroken, a true World War II story about Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini and his years in a Japanese prison of war camp.

“Obviously being in a film like this opens many doors, just the sheer size of it and that is overwhelming.”

Of dressing up for red carpet events like the Unbroken premiere and GQ Men of the Year, he said: “I’m an old soul, I love classical style. I’m very traditionalist so I get very excited.”

In January, Russell will shoot a film in Sydney titled Any Girl Who Loves The Beatles Is Bound To Break Your Heart.

After a February holiday in India, he is to shoot another movie in LA titled I Hate Silverlake.

“That’s a rarity, nothing shoots in LA these days,” he said.

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