Who Plays The Son In 'The Revenant'? Forrest Goodluck's Feature Debut Is Not To Be Missed
The Revenant, Alejandro González Iñárritu's newest Academy Awards darling , is on its way to being known as the movie that finally got Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar. The Revenant is nominated for 12 Academy Awards, and it could make its director the first filmmaker to win back-to-back Oscars since 1950. Oscars aside, many are also crediting The Revenant as being the first breakout film for the young actor who plays DiCaprio's son in the film. Though the role is small — his (spoiler!) death happens early and propels the entire plot moving forward — it is memorable, perhaps made even more so by the juxtaposition of a completely unknown actor playing the son of someone like DiCaprio. It's an incredible role to get as a fresh young actor, so it's fitting that the teenager who plays the son in The Revenant is named Forrest Goodluck.
Goodluck, 17, made his feature debut in The Revenant playing Hawk, DiCaprio's teenage son who is (spoiler alert) killed by trappers after his father is mauled by a bear and left for dead. Before booking the role, he was just another teenager in high school who took acting classes at the Bosque School on the side and participated in community theater in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though he had auditioned for roles before, most of the films he booked fell through and never got made. It wasn't until two years ago that he got the call to play DiCaprio's son — making The Revenant a three-year passion project for the young actor. "I auditioned for the part when I was 15. I got the role when I had just turned 16, and we finished the film when I turned 17, this past August. I grew up with this film," Goodluck said in an interview with WWD.
Making your onscreen debut alongside an actor like DiCaprio (not to mention co-stars Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter) might sound like a dream come true, but it could easily have been terrifying. Speaking about stepping foot on set with such heavyweights, Goodluck told Yahoo! Movies that the unique and intense shooting conditions of The Revenant actually helped put everyone on equal footing. "I realized it was a new experience for everybody, including the director, the cinematographer, all of the cast, all of the crew. It captured such a harsh reality and such beauty that had never been captured on film before. We were experimenting to create something great," Goodluck said.
Goodluck is aware that his experience working on The Revenant is unique in Hollywood, so much so that he's keeping his options open when it comes to the future of his career in filmmaking. Goodluck is seizing the moment, auditioning for films and looking into expanding his acting career, but he's also a senior in high school, which means applying for colleges and figuring out where he wants to live for the next four years.
If Goodluck doesn't end up in front of the camera, there's still a good chance he'll be working behind it. At 14, Goodluck made a short film that won him some attention. Last summer, he took his short films to film festivals and was a filmmaking fellow at the Sundance Institute. And, he is also a student of photography, which he shares with fans on Instagram. "My love for acting is equal to my love for filmmaking, and I'm definitely going to pursue my career as a filmmaker and as an actor in par," he told Interview Magazine.
Where ever his career goes after The Revenant, it's likely to take him first to LA, where we'll probably get to see Goodluck celebrating with his cast members at the Oscars.
Images: 20th Century Fox; forrestgoodluck/Instagram