Ones To Watch: Will Poulter
From Clash’s second film issue. Photo by Samuel John Butt.
If you recognise Will Poulter as Son of Rambow’s boisterous Lee Carter or as part of Narnia’s fantastical adventures, you’ll see a new side to him in Wild Bill. He plays the fifteen -year-old Dean who has to look after his younger brother after seeing his father Bill go to jail and his mother abandon them. “Wild” Bill’s freedom should establish some stability in the family equilibrium, but the relationship between them requires rebuilding.
“Dean bears the responsibilities of an adult,” begins Poulter. “I couldn’t really relate to him as I’m really lucky in that respect. He’s messed up in many ways because he’s had to suppress the pain and the hurt that he feels with regards to being abandoned. Despite the backdrop of such bleakness and it being set in such a dark world, there’s a theme of hope.”
Poulter’s dyslexia meant that he struggled in school, but his passion for drama lead to him joining the School of Comedy sketch team and landing a role in Son of Rambow.
“We had no idea what Son of Rambow was going to be,” he recalls. “We were so lucky in terms of how it exceeded its expectations because it was this tiny little film that we made for absolutely no money.”
As a huge music fan (everything from Nas to Red Hot Chili Peppers), Poulter is excited to have been cast in Shoplifters of the World Unite, a new film based around the music of The Smiths: “I’m a big Smiths fan and it’s really cool that there’s going to be a film celebrating their music too.”
Refreshingly, Poulter is still humble enough to be dumbstruck when his own heroes appreciate his work – as evidenced when Kano came to see Wild Bill. “He said he liked it,” he smiles. “And I melted a little inside.”