Lucas Hedges admits he’s “still kind of a kid.” Indeed the rising star was shocked to hear he was nominated for best supporting actor at this year’s Academy Awards honoring his performance in Manchester by the Sea. “I was just lying in bed when I found out. I jumped out of bed screaming, ‘Mom, Dad, I was nominated!” he recalls. The 20 year old is revealing himself to be a versatile talent who loves emotionally arduous roles, and he was the youngest nominee at this year’s Oscars. Hedges held his own against the potent performance of the film’s star, Casey Affleck, as he portrayed the wry and emotional teenager Patrick Chandler. He auditioned for the role at least five times. Hedges also recently finished making his stage debut in the off-Broadway play Yen as the brooding, on-the-brink half-brother Hench.
In February, W Magazine asked the New York native about the first audition he ever went on. “The first thing I ever auditioned for was a movie called ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.’ And this is kind of a secret, but it came down between me and the other kid for it, but I didn’t get it.” In fact, the part of the young Asperger syndrome sufferer went to Thomas Horn.
Luckily, the disappointment Hedges felt for this loss subsided quickly enough as he explains, “Well, fortunately enough during the scene test of ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,’ there was a producer watching from the next room over on a monitor, and his name was Scott Rudin.” Rudin is the highly respected producer who produced Denzel Washington’s Fences.
Hedges attributes that fortunate happening with him landing the role of Redford in the 2012 coming-of-age film Moonrise Kingdom directed by Wes Anderson. “So, just like a month or two later I had another job and it was a Wes Anderson movie, so I can’t really complain,” he told the mag.
Lucas’ dad is the acclaimed screenwriter, director, and novelist Peter Hedges, and his mom, Susan Bruce is an actress. Growing up, Lucas would often visit his dad’s film sets. This generated a childhood obsession with the website IMDb as well as films and filmmaking. Although he really wanted to be an actor, Lucas said, “I never considered that it would be a possibility for me to be an actor.” But when he was about 12 years old, he appeared as an extra on a film his dad was making called Dan in Real Life; however, his talking scene ended up on the editing room floor.
Hedges feels the full support of his parents. He explains, “My dad says this thing that the only thing he wants him and my mom to be are flankers. He wants to feel like I can go into a room and feel like I’m flanked by both my parents–that they’re both by my side, but they’re not leading the way.”
This year Hedges will star in Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird and the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.