A 12-year-old boy from Caistor has his sights set on stardom after playing Sacha Baron Cohen’s son in Hollywood spy comedy Grimsby.
Just six months after starting acting lessons, Freddie Crowder beat off competition from hundreds of youngsters to land the role as wild-child ‘Tsunami’ in the hit movie.
The budding actor was flown out to South Africa to film his scenes - and on Monday evening (February 22) he swapped his school books for the red carpet, attending the London premiere alongside the film’s many high-profile names.
But despite his on-screen success, Freddie has remained ‘grounded’ slipping back into life at Caistor Grammar School.
Speaking about his role in the movie, Freddie said: “It was amazing. At first I didn’t realise how big it was, then I realised it was a Sacha Baron Cohen film, then I realised the extent of it.
“It really hit me I was in a massive movie, it just blew my mind. The best thing about it there was never a line that wouldn’t make you chuckle a little bit.”
Freddie, who now his own agent, was cast for the part two years ago when he was just 10.
He said: “The first time I was filming I was really nervous. They told me I was doing great and I started to relax and I just got on with it after that.
“When I was relaxed it was a lot more fun.
“Sacha Baron Cohen was really smart and really funny.
“He was smart because he could come up with lines.
“The writers chipped in with the funny lines as well but if he thought a line could be funnier then he’d add it.
“South Africa was lovely but I was working all the time. I had three rest days in two weeks. “On two of them I was too tired to do anything.”
So how is Freddie coping now he is back at school?
“All my best friends have said well done,” said Freddie.
“There’s a little bit in the trailer that I’m in. I say ‘Dad I’m out of breath’ and he says ‘I told you to stop smoking’. Year seven and nines come up to me and say ‘are you out of breath?’.
“It feels fine to be back (at school) but I enjoyed going to the premiere and filming a lot more than going to school.”
Freddie said his main passion is comedy - something he has in common with both of his grandads.
He said: “I’ve always wanted to be a comedian. I’ve always been ‘that character’ that’s tried to make a joke. My grandad John has always been really funny. So is my grandad Sam.Both make me laugh.”
And Freddie’s mum, Rachael Crowder, says she and dad Simon are “so proud” of their son.
Rachael, who travelled with Freddie to South Africa, said: “When we saw him on the red carpet it was so so surreal.
“He wasn’t phased by it at all. He arrived on the red carpet with Sacha.
“We’re so proud of him that he got a part in it.
“He always had that kind of personality. I remember my mum saying ‘that boy’s going to be on the stage’.
“You don’t realise until the film comes out what an amazing production it is. I was just so excited to see the film and everything come together.
“Even though I’ve been on set actually seeing him on the big screen was unreal.I know that I’m biased but I really enjoyed it.Freddie was born in Grimsby and he’s very proud to be in the film. It’s simply a town chosen, it’s more about family and how people stick together.”
And Rachael said Freddie still remains ‘level headed’. “He’s pretty grounded. He just slips straight back into it as if nothing’s happened. He’s pretty level headed. Sacha Baron Cohen told him he needed to make sure he got his grades and went to university in case acting doesn’t work out. He said it’s all about luck and you can never guarantee.”
Grimsby, the movie
Grimsby (released in the United States as The Brothers Grimsby) is a 2016 British spy action comedy film
The film stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis, Gabourey Sidibe, Penélope Cruz, and Ian McShane.
It tells the story of two brothers, orphans who were separated through adoption.
One, played by Mark Strong , becomes a James Bond-style agent.
The other is Nobby, Baron Cohen’s character, who grows up in Grimsby where he became a football hooligan.