Joe Alwyn accomplished what every drama kids dreams of — and he did it before he even finished school. The 25-year-old North London-born actor was studying at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama when he auditioned and landed the title role in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, directed by Ang Lee.
During a paired interview with Collider at the New York press junket for the film, he sat next to his co-star Kristen Stewart, just a year older than him and already a prominent member of Hollywood’s younger generation of actors. “It came about in a pretty crazy way, very, very quickly,” he told us of the experience.
As he recalls in the video above, he signed with an agent during this time and she told him about the role. After sending over his tapes to the casting director in New York, he flew over from London to meet Lee to read through a bunch of scenes he was sent to learn. The process lasted much longer than he expected: he ended up flying out to Atlanta for costume and makeup tests and to try out the technology for what amounted to an additional five days. When he finally got back, he heard he got the role and had to fly back out to start filming.
Since he’s never been in a film before, he had no idea what the final product would look like on screen, especially with the 120 frame rate. But he’s certainly kicking off his career with a bang. By the way, he’s since finished his final exams.
Alwyn stars in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk alongside Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker, and Steve Martin. The film is now playing in limited release and expands in more theaters on traditional formats on November 18th.