Interview with Aidan Pierce Brennan of “NOS4A2” on AMC by Suzanne 7/30/20
This was a fun interview. He seems like a very nice, normal young man. He’s got an excellent start to his career. He does an amazing job on NOS4A2. Don’t miss his episode this week, Sunday, 8/2 on AMC where he’ll play a young Charlie Manx! Adult Charlie is played by Zachary Quinto, who’s the villain of the show. We finally see his backstory.
Here is the audio version of the interview. The transcript below is edited quite a lot for clarity.
Aidan: Hi, how are you?
Suzanne: Okay, how are you, Aidan?
Aidan: I’m good. I’m good.
Suzanne: Good. So, before you were doing TV and movies, did you do any acting?
Aidan: As in theater?
Aidan: I actually… I’ve never done theater, and I think that’s because I never.. I never really had that type of.. I think it really takes a lot of pure confidence to get up on that stage and project, and I don’t.. I don’t.. I never really.. I never really could do that, and I really could..no. I am not super theatrical. Which is not to say that it’s something I’ll never do because it’s something I’m definitely interested in, but I don’t think, I don’t think I have ever had that, the confidence to go up there and do that.
Suzanne: Oh. Well, I hope you’ll do it sometime because it sure is a lot of fun.
Aidan: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I love.. I love growing.
Aidan: I live right outside of the city. So, hopefully when social distancing ends, and, you know…
Aidan: …Out of quarantine, I’ll get to see some more plays ’cause I really like some of them.
Suzanne: Sure. And what did your parents think about your wanting to be an actor?
Aidan: Well, my mom, when she was growing up, I think she did some commercials. I think some modeling. And the movie that actually inspired me to start acting was “Stand By Me.” It’s one of my favorite movies, and River Phoenix’ performance in that, I think, really just… I mean, I watched that with my dad and, and my mom, my entire family… we watched it together and I was really blown away. I kept saying to the natural roots I.. his performance in that, how someone could create a character like this, and I just– I was raving about his performance. I was really impressed by how someone could do this, and I was telling them, I got to do this. I have to try to get into acting. I have to pursue this, and we went to this place and I said..
Suzanne: Oh, cool. So they’ve been pretty supportive the whole time.
Aidan: Absolutely. Oh, absolutely… especially my mom.
Suzanne: Great! What was the audition process like for “NOS4A2”?
Aidan:, I believe it was.. I feel like.. it was a while ago.. It was over a year ago. No, a little less than a year ago, I would say. So, I think it was just one audition, and it was in the city, I think. Yeah, and then I heard a few days later. They put me on hold for a minute and then a couple days later I found out that I got the role. It was pretty exciting because the same day, the same call with my manager, he said that I also booked another role at the very same time.
Suzanne: Oh, great.
Aidan: So, that was.. that was pretty fun. And yeah [laughs].
Suzanne: And had you watched “NOS4A2” before that or.. or uh.. anything?
Aidan: No, but I’d heard of that. I’d heard about the book, and then I heard people start talking about the show a lot — recently, before my audition.
Aidan: So when I.. when I saw that I was auditioning for “NOS4A2″… I’d heard.. I’d heard it before.
Suzanne: All right, and was it fun to film that?
Aidan: Definitely. Definitely. Charlie Manx is such a fun character to play, especially since I had a lot of freedom because I was supposed to be playing this character that really wasn’t that Charlie Manx everyone knows… I mean, this character has a lot more innocence to him and a lot more.. and I guess a lot less.. uh, menacing and grim.I had a lot of freedom in the sense that like this character is nothing like Charlie Manx and filming that was a lot of fun. The entire environment was very, much like the show, in the best way possible, but we filmed this wooded area. It was right on the water, and it was really foggy, so it had this spooky atmosphere. And yeah, it was it was a great time filming, and I.. I really enjoyed playing this character.
Suzanne: And there are a lot of kids on that show. Did you hang out with them? Or were your scenes shot separately?
Aidan: My scenes were shot separately, unfortunately. But our family friend’s daughter is actually on that show.
Suzanne: Oh! [laughs]
Aidan: So yeah, she plays Millie.
Suzanne: Cool. Oh, Millie. Yeah. That’s a great character.
Aidan: Yeah. Yeah [laughs].
Suzanne: So, what do you find most fun about acting?
Aidan: Trying to become a whole new character. I think that’s the part that really excites me the most. Just losing yourself in these characters, whether it’s just auditioning or… I have such a passion for just transforming into someone who’s completely not like you at all and doing your best…that’s really exciting to me. I think it takes a lot of understanding the characters and listening. It takes a lot of basing it off of yourself and real life experiences… to me that’s really exciting.
Suzanne: Okay. A lot of the shows you’ve been in are pretty violent. Are you allowed to watch them? [laughs]
Aidan: [laughs] For the most part, no. I mean, I watched most of them, and some with the scenes I was in..
Aidan: But for the most part, my parents don’t really let me watch that much violent stuff.
Suzanne: Right? It’s probably a good idea. [laughs]
Suzanne: I mean, I can’t I can’t even watch The Punisher. I’m just like.. no. [laughs]
Aidan: Yeah.. yeah that is pretty scary. My.. my dad really loves that.
Suzanne: Oh, I’m sure. [laughs]
Aidan: And you know.. I watched a lot of the episodes, but not with all the violent stuff.
Aidan: My parents say, don’t watch that.
Suzanne: Yeah. I loved “Daredevil.” I grew up reading the comics…
Aidan: Right, right.
Suzanne: But it was a bit too violent for me.
Aidan: Right. [laughs]
Suzanne: But “The Punisher” is way worse. [laughs] I couldn’t watch that… So, you’ve been doing some movies, too. How have those been different from working in TV?
Aidan: Well, I really haven’t had a bad experience on any set. I mean, I’m really enjoying myself, and.. TV, movies, anything.. But I think the main difference is the characters I play. So far, with TV shows, I’ve gotten to play characters… Charlie Manx, Ray Donovan, Frank Castle Jr…. I think the main difference is these characters because both sides were… With a TV job, I get to play darker characters that challenge me a little more. For a movie like “The Secret: Dare to Dream,” I played someone pretty close to home… just a normal kid. That’s the main difference so far. I’ve had fun with either one of them, but I think the main difference so far is the characters that I got to play.
Suzanne: Okay. Yeah. I was looking over the things you’ve been in, and you often play the younger version of some guy.
Aidan: Yeah.. [laughs] Yeah.
Suzanne: That’s cool. You’ve been doing some things based on comic books. Do you read comic books for fun?
Aidan: Yes, I was raised into that because my uncle is very into Marvel Comics, and he would show me older comics, like the Incredible Hulk, or just mainly superhero comics. But yeah, that’s always been something that’s interesting to me.
Suzanne: Oh, I’m sure and…Oh, you got to work with Katie Holmes in the “The Secret: Dare to Dream.” You know that she was in one of the Batman movies right?
Aidan: Yeah, yeah.
Suzanne: That must really cool-
Aidan: She’s Rachel. Yeah, I do.
Suzanne: That’s got.. yeah, do you think..
Aidan: That was.. that was cool.
Suzanne: Do you think that you’ll probably.. after the pandemic and everything… go to Comic-Con or something like that?
Aidan: I would love to..
Aidan: Since we were little, my brother and I, we obviously love everything about that. We really like to see movies, and we really like comics.. We always have. And I’d like to go.. if my mom would take me.
Suzanne: Yeah, that’s great. are you based in LA, or New York or..?
Aidan: I’m based a little outside of New York.
Suzanne: Okay. Well, they have the New York Comic-Con there. So that would be good. [laughs]
Aidan: Right? Yeah.
Suzanne: Cool. If you don’t mind my asking, how old are you now?
Aidan: I’m fourteen.
Suzanne: Okay, that’s good. So you’re just starting high school?
Aidan: l’m going to start high school, hopefully. I guess in a month or so.
Suzanne: Oh great, great. Are you excited?
Aidan: Oh, yeah yeah. Excited and scared.
Suzanne: Yeah. [laughs] Oh, you’ll be fine. So for “Extra Innings,” did you have to train much for all the baseball scenes?
Aidan: I did because you know previous to that…I only really played basketball and lacrosse. I really never got around to playing baseball very much, except for little league in kindergarten. I didn’t really know the first thing about baseball. But I got it together with a trainer and… and even with my director.. we’ve been training in baseball a little bit. But that was hard, too, because I had to base my playing style and baseball stance off of someone else – who’s already very good at baseball – the guy who played the older version of me in the movie.
Aidan: So, yeah, but that was really fun, and I’m glad I got to play baseball because I really liked it.
Suzanne: Cool. Do you think you might play baseball in school? Now that you’ve done it more?
Aidan: Maybe,but baseball season is the same time as lacrosse season. They’re both in the spring. So I don’t think I’d be able to play in school, but I still watch baseball at home, and I still play baseball with my friends every once in a while.
Suzanne: Right. Well, it’s the only sport on TV right now. So.. [laughs]
Aidan: Yeah, right.
Suzanne: Yeah. My husband’s a big huge baseball fan so.. [laughs]
Suzanne: Now, your movie “The Secret: Dare to Dream” looks good. What can you tell us about working on that movie?
Aidan: Iit was really one of the best experiences of my life — it was all really exciting because I’ve really never had to leave school or leave home in that extended amount of time for a role, previous to that… That was, I think, two months, or maybe a month and three weeks, in New Orleans, Louisiana. And that was beyond exciting. Of course my mom was with me, but I had to say goodbye to my brother, my dad, my dogs. And that was a little scary, but you know, when I got there, I got to work with a lot of people I respect a lot. I just had a really great time in that set, working with my family in the movie and that was.. that was really — big time — one of the best experiences of my life.
Suzanne: Cool! Abd New Orleans is a really cool place, too.. very different from New York.
Aidan: Yeah. Yeah, I loved it there.
Suzanne: Yeah, it’s.. its beautiful there. So what have you been doing? What have you been up to during the past four months of staying at home?
Aidan: Well…. you know… still going on auditions, but I can’t really go to the city anymore, so all of them are self tapes from home.
Aidan: Still watching a lot of movies almost every day. Tryin’ to play sports, tryin’ to stay active. I’m trying to convince my parents to let me hang out with my friends a little bit more, but like I’m still practicing social distancing, so I can’t really see much of them. But yeah, I mean, I’m trying to stay busy the last couple weeks.
Suzanne: Okay, cool. Well, thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time for this call.
Aidan: It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
interview Transcribed by TranscriptionPuppy
Aidan booked his first role at the age of eight on the web series “Sitters.” From there, he’s continued to hone his craft on bigger and more ambitious projects including the award-winning film “Extra Innings” (Winner: Best Film, Manhattan Film Festival 2019), as well as a recurring role on the Marvel/Netflix series “The Punisher.” Making his network television debut on the cult-favorite ABC series “Forever,” he has been gaining momentum and acclaim ever since. Recently, Brennan was seen portraying a young Ray Donavon on Showtime’s series of the same name, and upcoming he’ll be seen starring opposite Katie Holmes, Jerry O’Connell and Josh Lucas in “The Secret” (Link to trailer: https://www.youtube.
View Sneak Peek HERE
Season two of AMC’s NOS4A2 continues on Sunday, July 12th at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, with the full season set to also simulcast on BBC America. In Sunday’s all-new episode, entitled “The Lake House,” Charlie Manx is on the hunt, Vic and her family go into hiding with Maggie and Wayne suffers mysterious nightmares while Tabitha chases a lead on Bing.
In NOS4A2’s second season, Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) remains more determined than ever to destroy Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto). Charlie, having faced his own mortality, emerges desperate for revenge against Vic. This time, he sets his sights on the person who means most to Vic – her eight-year-old son Wayne. The race for Wayne’s soul sends Vic and Charlie on a high-speed collision course, forcing both to confront the mistakes of their pasts in order to secure a hold on Wayne’s future. The series’ second season stars Emmy®-nominated actor and producer Zachary Quinto and rising star Ashleigh Cummings, along with Jahkara Smith, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Virginia Kull, Jonathan Langdon, Ashley Romans, Jason David and Mattea Conforti.
Based on Joe Hill’s best-selling novel of the same name, NOS4A2 is executive produced by showrunner Jami O’Brien (Fear the Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels) and Hill. The series is produced by AMC Studios in association with Tornante Television.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda