When asked about his favourite scene while filming the Academy-award nominated drama, Room, Langley actor Jacob Tremblay said what any nine-year-old would.
“My favourite scene is when I get to eat ice cream.”
The large crowd at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley erupted into laughter. It was one of several moments when the young actor had the audience in stitches during a Q&A session at the Langley International Film Festival (LIFF) on Sunday night.
The event was Jacob’s first public appearance in his hometown after winning the Best Young Actor award at the Critics’ Choice Awards in January.
Since then, he’s also been nominated for best performance by an actor in a leading role at the Canadian Screen Awards, has been featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Conan with Conan O’Brien. And on Feb. 28, he will be presenting at the 88th annual Academy Awards.
Audience members at LIFF were treated first to a screening of Room — a dramatic tale of a mother and son’s escape from captivity — followed by a live interview onstage with the star himself.
Even the event moderator, Jake Guy — who is also a Langley actor — couldn’t keep a smile off his face while listening to Jacob’s honest and heartfelt answers.
“What have your friend’s reactions been to this awesome stuff you do?” Guy asked, referring to Jacob’s classmates at Lynn Fripps Elementary.
“Sometimes they ask me silly questions like ‘Do you own a yacht’ or ‘Do you own a mansion?’” Jacob replied.
“Both of those answers are no. But they don’t really ask me questions like this because, you know, it’s an adult movie so they don’t really see the movie and we’re usually just playing and doing our math quizzes.”
Although it’s been a while since Jacob has been back in Langley, he said he’s excited to be home.
“It feels great to get to actually work in my own hometown,” he said.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time, not here, but in other places, especially California. It’s actually kind of fun to do this here because I get to go straight home.”
“Like a 10 minute drive home?” Guy asked.
“Well not 10 minutes,” Jacob said. “It would probably be like a … three-minute drive.”
By now, Jacob is no stranger to the red carpet, having met many famous people including Johnny Depp — who he said he was most excited about — Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg and Oscar Isaac.
But one of his favourite parts about being a movie star is getting served McDonalds and candy at the events, he added.
When asked how it feels to win and be nominated for some of the top awards in the acting industry, Jacob said “that feels like the Oscars.”
The crowd burst into laughter once again.
“Do you have any dreams for the future, other than acting?” Guy asked.
“I want to be a director and I want to be a snowboarder, I want to be a soccer player, and that’s all,” Jacob replied.
Members of the audience were also invited to call out questions, one asking if Jacob’s long hair in Room was his real hair or a wig.
“It was a wig, it does look like real hair. I was surprised, I looked like my little cousin Ana,” he said, pausing as the crowd once again roared.
“Except with brown hair not blonde.”
“Do you ever talk to the woman who played your mother?” someone called out.
“I still talk to her (Brie Larson),” Jacob said.
“We would play games, we would talk about cool stuff like Star Wars, and both of our birthdays were in October, so I went to her birthday and she went to my birthday.”
One of Jacob’s dream acting roles is to be in Star Wars, he said. He doesn’t care what character he plays, suggesting maybe he could be an Ewok or Yoda — anything just to be cast.
Having heard of Jacob’s Star Wars obsession, at the end of the interview Guy presented him with a timely gift.
“Because they told me you’re a fan of Star Wars, I got you some Star Wars Band-Aids,” Guy said, handing the small box over to him.
“Just in case you ever paper cut yourself, you can throw a Darth Vader around your finger.”
Jacob examined the box and laughed.
“Yeah, that would be funny,” he said.
Room was one of several films shown over the weekend at the inaugural LIFF, a new fundraiser for the Langley School District Foundation.
Also screened were NUMB, Sleeping Giant, Carol, a student montage of short films and Trumbo. Organizers say a second festival will be planned for next year.
Photos by Miranda GATHERCOLE/Langley Times