A star is born! Roman Griffin Davis caught the eye of audiences and critics alike as the title character in the satirical film Jojo Rabbit, which is based on Christine Leunens’ acclaimed 2004 novel, Caging Skies.
The 12-year-old actor portrays a young boy growing up in Nazi Germany who dreams of becoming a soldier and has Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi) as an imaginary friend. When Jojo discovers that his mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), is hiding a Jewish girl, Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), in their attic, he’s forced to confront his views on nationalism.
The U.K. native earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and took home the Critics Choice Award for Best Young Performer for his debut film role.
Scroll down to read five things about the young star.
1. He Didn’t Know He Was Auditioning for a Film About Nazis
The actor told Vanity Fair in November 2019 that he thought the film’s title was referring to an entirely different type of movie. “I thought it was [about] Peter Rabbit,” Davis said of the Waititi-directed film.
2. He Beat Out 1,000 Other Actors to Score the Role
The casting department watched 1,000 audition tapes from the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia and New Zealand before the coveted role went to Davis. “Roman is a really endearing, beautiful kid, and when you hang out with him, you want to protect him,” Waititi explained to Backstage in December 2019. “He has this very caring heart, and the idea was always that this would carry into the undercurrents of the character.”
3. His Favorite Part of Filming Was Using Profanity
Davis had fun rehearsing the film because he was able to tell Hitler to “f–k off” multiple times. “It was really quite fun, because Taika was directing me to say it in different ways: ‘For this one, try and rip it out,'” he told Vanity Fair. “‘For this one, say it quite fierce. And this one, kind of give it a ring.’ We did a whole improvising scene where I just said the F-word loads of times.”
4. He Comes From an Industry Family
Davis is the son of writer-director Camille Griffin and cinematographer Ben Davis, who has worked on Marvel films such as Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Doctor Strange (2016) and Captain Marvel (2019). His grandfather Mike Davis was also a cinematographer and camera operator.
5. Taron Egerton Is Already a Fan
While accepting the 2020 Golden Globes award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for his role as Elton John in Rocketman, Egerton called Davis “the sweetest kid” who was “incredible in Jojo.” The mention was extra special for Davis, whose favorite film is Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which also stars Egerton.
Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn gifted Davis an orange suit inspired by the iconic blazer worn by Eggsy (Egerton) in the film. Davis proudly wore the suit at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!