Exclusive Interview with Nolan River, Star Of Upcoming M. Night Shyamalan Film “Old”
Actor Nolan River has grown up watching his father behind the scenes and is finally ready to step into the spotlight. The 9-year old newcomer has been on-set his entire life, observing and learning from his dad Thomas Nicholas – whose infamous roles include the American Pie franchise, Rookie Of The Year, Red Band Society, and more. Taking after his dad, Nolan is starting his career young and strong. He will soon be seen in M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming Universal thriller, “Old”, set for wide release in July 2021. The film, which was shot in the Dominican Republic, also includes cast members Gael Garcia Bernal, Rufus Sewell, Embeth Davidtz, Emun Elliott, Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Vicky Krieps, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Ken Leung.
Early this year, Nolan will also play a smaller role alongside his dad in Lionsgate’s “Adverse” which hits select theaters nationwide on Feb 12th. Nolan’s first acting experience was on the set of the widely popular FOX comedy series “New Girl,” in which he nailed the role of Jess (Zoey Deschanel) and Nick’s (Jake Johnson) future son ‘Reginald Veljohnson’ (named per a bet Nick had lost to Schmidt). While short and sweet, the role ignited Nolan’s passion for acting and his true love of the craft. Outside of acting, Nolan enjoys spending time playing soccer, baseball, Nintendo and Wii videogames (everything from Super Mario to Zelda), building Legos, reading all the Harry Potter books, taking piano lessons (which he began at age 3), and just being a kid!
We caught up with the up coming star to talk about his upcoming feature film and so much more;
Hi Nolan and welcome to OLC! It’s a pleasure to have you here. How have you been?
I’ve been okay. Online school days go by fast, and I do like being at home. I’ve been playing video games mainly on Saturdays, because I do a zoom hang with my friend every Sunday.
Your dad was part of a huge franchise of films, of course I’m talking about American Pie, which was a huge part of people my ages life. Was he your biggest inspiration in wanting to be an actor?
Well, I’m not old enough to watch those films. I have seen my dad’s movies when he was a kid. I’m talking about Rookie of the Year and A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.
Your first acting experience was on the hit tv show ‘New Girl’, which I also love, how was that experience for you and how did that role come about?
It was nice, because I got to do my own stunt without camera tricks. I got to jump onto a couch, which was cool. I auditioned for the role and I guess I just got lucky.
Do you ever get nervous having to be face to face with famous people like Zooey Deschanel, and if so what do you do to get rid of them?
I’m pretty much always nervous when I’m meeting someone new. It’s not because they’re famous, this goes for everyone. After I get to know anyone for a little bit, I’m a lot less shy.
Now you’ve just completed filming on the new M. Night Shyamalan film ‘Old’, what was that like and working with such an incredibly talented director like M. Night and how did you score the role?
We filmed this in the Dominican Republic, which was pretty cool. I liked getting to meet new people. Staying in hotels near the beach was fun. M. Night said that I reminded him of himself when he was my age. I guess he saw that playing the role was kind of natural for me in my audition video.
So tell us what you can about the movie ‘Old’ and your role in the film?
I wasn’t allowed to read the whole script, so I didn’t know it was going to be that scary until I saw the trailer. It wasn’t scary when we were filming it. I play the role of Trent who is going on vacation with his family. Trent is very smart and asks a lot of questions just like me.
Do you find it challenging to tackle a more serious role like in ‘Old’ over a more comedic role say in ‘New Girl’?
‘Old’ is a bit challenging to compare to ‘New Girl’, because the part was so much bigger. I guess I would say that drama is a little bit more work for me.
You also have another film coming out called ‘Adverse’ with your dad Thomas Nicholas. What’s it about?
I don’t know what the story is about because it’s rated R, so I can’t see it, but I can tell you it’s a drama.
How much did you enjoy that? Working with your dad on film must of been pretty cool?
I only shot one scene in the movie, which was with my dad. It was a little weird to pretend that I didn’t know him. Especially when the other actor, who I didn’t know, was playing my dad.
Now outside of acting you love playing video games, I mean who doesn’t right? What’s your favourite game to play?
My favorite game is Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch right now. Mainly because I already beat Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild… well… I haven’t defeated the main boss Calamity Ganon yet…
You also like playing piano, would you ever want to get into being a musician?
I used to imagine it. I’m not sure if being a musician will be my thing. When I was younger, I saw myself as an inventor. I have it in mind now that I would like to be a video game designer.
What do your friends think of you being in movies?
I think my friends thought it was cool that I got to travel to the Dominican Republic and that I got to work with M. Night Shyamalan. They all knew who he was, which was weird because he makes scary movies that aren’t made for kids.
Do you have any other cool projects coming up this year?
I’m looking forward to more auditions. I even told M. Night on the last day of work that I would always audition for his movies.
Thanks for stopping by Nolan, it’s been a pleasure but before you go, what would you like to tell everyone out there in OLC! land?
I’m working with my dad on another cool project called The Robot Kid. It’s music and cartoons made for kids. I’m singing on it with my dad and my sister Zoë Dylan. She’s 4 years old and great at drawing.