Julian Dennison Isn’t in a Hurry to Grow Up
The 15-year-old New Zealand actor Julian Dennison talks to GQ magazine about his starring role in Deadpool 2 – even though he’s not old enough to see it.
Dennison is not your average teenager, if the confidence and exuberance with which he throws himself into his first GQ shoot is anything to go by. At one point, he crosses his arms across his chest in the style of the X-Force gesture (and, as he points out, both the Wonder Woman and Black Panther gesture as well). “Wakanda forever!” he shouts into the camera, shortly before his mom (“mum”) steps up to adjust his ear stud.
Dennison’s been acting since he was even younger, his breakout role being in the amazing 2016 Taika Waititi movie, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, in which he plays the runaway orphan Ricky Baker. Now, he’s starring in Deadpool 2 opposite the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, and Zazie Beetz. Dennison spoke with GQ about the pressures of acting at such a young age, how he separates his work life from his family life, and what he really thinks of Reynolds’s first foray into superhero movies, the 2011 disaster Green Lantern.
The magazine asks if working with actors like Sam Neill at 12 was intimidating.
“To be honest, Jurassic Park was before my time,” Dennison says. “I was super into the superhero movies and stuff. Mum and dad, they were like, ‘Sam Neill – honey, do you know who that is?’ I’m like, ‘No. I’ll Google him.’ He’s the nicest person and a big kid.”
Dennison says that for now, New Zealand is his home.
“I’m not planning on moving any time soon. I love to chill with family and I just love Christmas. It’s during our summer. There’s a camp called Brookfield Camp in Wainuiomata in Wellington and we go there every Christmas. We book a cabin. One small cabin so we all just sleep on the floor on mattresses. We have a barbecue. We have a bonfire at night. It’s in the middle of the bush and we play Hide and Go Seek at night with torches and stuff. I’ve got 51 first cousins. Mum was from a family of 12. Nan – my grandmother – was from a family of 20. We have a lot of family and cousins so it feels like a proper camp. They don’t see me as Julian Dennison. I’m not the family souvenir. But if an action figure comes out on myself, I will get 30 action figures and I’ll just give one each out. I would just buy them all action figures of myself so they can sleep next to it at night.”
Original article by Tom Philip, GQ, May 22, 2018.
Photo by Alex Reside.