Q&A With Skylar Burke
New Hampshire's Skylar Burke has hit the big time
Skylar Burke’s on-camera experience consisted mostly of self-made youtube videos until last year when she was picked to play alongside Russell Crowe in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” opening nationwide in March.
She’s performed in dance recitals and competitions at her mom’s Adagio Dance Academy in Exeter since she was 3, was cast in a Players’ Ring production at age 9, and now at 11 she’s in a major motion picture and got to appear on “Saturday Night Live” in a scene with the boy band One Direction. According to her parents, it’s been a whirlwind, but it all seems to come naturally to her.
You got your first movie role in a very big film. What happened? I almost didn’t go to the audition because we found out about it the morning of the audition, and usually we got at least a day or two to prepare. After my audition, they called my mom into the room and asked her if I could come back the next day for a callback with the director. Every time I went in, they kept asking me to stay again or come back the next day.
What were the best and worst things about being on a big movie shoot? The best part was meeting new friends who would become like family. Also another good part was being able to live in Iceland for a month, and making friends there too. The worst part was my character being injured and having sticky blood on me!
Did you do any research to prepare for your part? Only a little. We looked at the Bible in the hotel room once while we were in NYC for rehearsal week. We didn’t see anything about my character in what we read though.
How did you get along with the other actors? Russell Crowe called me his monkey because he carried me for a large part of my scenes. The other boys in the cast became like my brothers. We had a lot of kid parties together with beanbags and pillow fights and music.
Emma Watson plays the older you? Did you hang out with her? We saw each other during rehearsal week, and we said we’d spend lots of time together on set. We didn’t get to see too much of each other though, because we were not filming at the same time since we were the same character. She did watch me filming a scene in Iceland though, and I felt proud to act in front of her.
Being a “child actor” has a lot of challenges. Who’s helping you through the process? [Director] Darren Aronofsky was a role model because he believed in me, and he guided me to do my best. Also, my friend Jackson Nicoll [local child actor appearing now in “Bad Grandpa”] and his mom April are mentors for my mom and I.
Your part on “Saturday Night Live” looked like a lot of fun. Paul Rudd [SNL guest host] was very nice, and he was apologetic because he had to pretend to be mean. I also met my idols One Direction, so that day was a dream come true! It was also nice to see my work right away, instead of having to wait two years for it to come out.
What’s next for you? My next project is playing Michael in my school’s production of “Peter Pan.” Then about a week or so after that, I’ll be walking the red carpet at the “Noah” premiere.