ATLANTA – Alex Calloway, a 14-year-old from Milton, got his shot at stardom after landing a small role in a big-screen film called “Short Term 12.”
The movie, written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, has already received generous praise after premiering at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, where it won two awards.
The film focuses on a staff member at a foster care facility that deals with troubled and abused adolescents. Alex plays one of the intakes named Sammy, and though his role is small, it’s vital to the movie.
“He’s a very complex character,” Alex said. “Sammy is quiet and contained, but definitely the most traumatized of all the characters.”
Alex was offered the role after going to California for an acting camp. Prior to the camp, he studied acting at the Alliance Theater and the Atlanta Workshop Players Company in Roswell.
“He did so well at the camp that he immediately had agents and managers coming after him. It was then I realized that this wasn’t just a kid thinking about something — he was really serious and he was really good,” said Scott Calloway, Alex’s dad.
Alex said what he most enjoyed about filming was interacting with the other actors and crew.
“Everyone was so open and honest, and we really did over the process of a 20-day shoot become a family,” he said.
“Short Term 12” showcased its Atlanta premiere on Friday, Sept. 13 at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema. Alex said he was happy to be home and that he enjoyed the question-and-answer period that followed the premiere.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say really good things about the movie, but I was happy to hear what my friends and family had to say about it,” he said.
Alex will be a freshman at Milton High School next year, but said he wants to keep working and acting as much as possible.
“I want to ride this out as long as I can,” he said. “There’s a certain energy that is on every set I’ve ever been on and I love that feeling — so as long as I’m able, I would love to be out here in California getting more roles, because this really is my favorite thing in the world.”
“Short Term 12” is now being shown in select theaters around the country. To find out more about tickets and show times, visit www.shortterm12.com.