“Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader” finds its latest treasure of an actor in newcomer Will Poulter who plays Eustace Scrubb, the bratty cousin of the Pevensies. Returning in their biggest 3D adventure are Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes who play Lucy and Edmund Pevensie respectively. In the film, the Pevensie children are staying at Eustace’s home when all three are dragged into Narnia via a painting on the wall depicting the ocean, which suddenly becomes terrifyingly real as gallons of water flood into the room. They surface in the ocean in Narnia, near Caspian’s ship, The Dawn Treader, and embark on an epic quest to find the seven Lost Lords.
Bright, articulate, enthusiastic, utterly charming and delightfully modest teenager, Will clearly relishes the big opportunity that working with director Michael Apted and co-stars Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes (who have all appeared in the Narnia films before), represents. For him, this particular adventure was a dream come true especially on the shores of Australia where the film was also shot. “I loved being in Australia,” he says. “I loved the people I worked with and we got to work in a giant water tank – that was so cool. We also learned to scuba dive and I learned sword fighting too, which was fantastic. Finally, I had to work with a blue screen, which was weird but fun. After work I would go surfing and I loved doing that. Actually, I can’t begin to describe how much fun it was. I had the best time.”
Born and raised in London and in many ways, is like any other English boy of the same age. He also loves to act and made a very promising start in the professional world of filmmaking at just 14 years old when he starred in the charming British comedy Son Of Rambow. He credits his drama teacher at school, The Harrodian, for inspiring him to take the plunge and go for the role of Lee Carter. “My teacher, Laura Lawson, put me up for my first audition for Son of Rambow,” he says. “I kind of owe everything to her. She’s been amazing to me.”
When Michael Apted (“Amazing Grace,” “The World Is Not Enough,” “Nell”) first auditioned young Will for the part of Eustace Scrubb, the vastly experienced director was obviously impressed. Typically, though, Will himself was convinced that he didn’t stand a chance. “I was absolutely terrified.”
“Eustace is really a horrible, horrible guy,” Will explains of his role. “He’s obnoxious, at times arrogant, and quite defensive of himself, and he’s very much against the whole idea of Narnia and talking creatures,” he says.
“I felt really guilty that I had to subject that many people to a brat like that for six months,” he laughs. “But it was also really good fun and I absolutely loved playing the part—it was tough but I absolutely loved it.”
“Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader” opens December 9 in theatres nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.