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Exclusive Interview with Australian Actor Jayden McGinlay Star Of Lionsgate’s “Children of the Corn”

Jayden McGinlay stars as Cecil Williams in the upcoming Lionsgate reimagining of Stephen King’s, Children of the Corn. The film releases theatrically on March 3rd and will hit digital/on demand on March 21st. He’s most recently known for his lead role as, “Teddy”, in the Disney movie, The Curious Case of Dolphin Bayand for playing ‘Max’ in the Netflix release Sweet River and is best known for his starring role as “Jeremy Potts” in the Australian tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, opposite Rachael Back and David Hobson, his role as “Friedrich”in the London Palladium Production of The Sound of Music, and his on-screen appearances including ABC’s Harrow, The Bureau of Magical Things. Now he’s back with us at OLC! to chat about his latest movie, ‘Children Of The Corn’…

Hi Jayden, welcome back to OLC! How have you been and did you get a chance to soak up the Australian Summer?

Hey, thanks! I’ve been good thank you. I definitely prefer the cold weather to the hot, but I’ve had a few chances to get to the beach, so that’s been fun.

You’ve been very busy as of late, and you are currently starring in the brand new horror film ‘Children Of The Corn’. Can you tell me a bit about the film and who you play?

For sure. Our film is written and directed by Kurt Wimmer and is a fresh take on the original short story by Stephen King. This film’s story is shown through the eyes of the children for a change, instead of the adults. The adults are basically screwing everything up, and the kids are tired of having to pay the price for their parents’ mistakes, so they take things into their own hands. I play the character of Cecil Williams, the younger brother of Boleyn (Elena Kampouris). Cecil has a close connection with his sister, so when she gives him news that she’s going to leave to go to a university in Boston, he feels really lost and betrayed. He at a really vulnerable place and there’s a clear sense of loneliness that he experiences, and (without giving away any spoilers) that causes him to maybe take a step in the wrong direction.

Prior to auditioning for this movie had you seen the original?

I hadn’t actually seen the movie at the time, however I’ve always been a huge fan of Stephen King’s work. When I got the audition initially they didn’t reveal the title, so I didn’t really know what I was auditioning for beyond the fact that it was a horror. Then later, I was flown to Sydney for the in-room callback and I found out when I was there that it was Children of the Corn. So after that, I watched the original and did all my research!

How did the opportunity for the film come about and how did you prepare for your role?

I got the self tape request from my agent, Charmaine Gilchrist, and sent in my audition, and then there was a series of callbacks and an in-room audition. I worked closely with Kurt Wimmer to flesh Cecil out and prepare for the role. Kurt’s openness to collaboration really allowed me to dig deeper into the character’s world. It was also sort of a luxury that he also wrote the script because he already had tons of insight into the character and was able to articulate clearly what his ideas were about the character, whilst also allowing me to develop him. These characters and the story is original, not a remake of the original, so there was a lot of freedom in the creation of Cecil.

What was the experience like making this film, I imagine with these sorts of films it’s as eerie to film as it is to watch?

I mean, to an extent haha. I’ll admit the corn fields at night were a little eerie. But I think the scariest thing we were experiencing while filming was Covid-19. We managed to film the entire film from March-May of 2020, during the worldwide lockdown, and we were the only film shooting in the world. Every day on set we didn’t even know if we were going to be able to shoot the next day, but leading this project were Kurt Wimmer, Lucas Foster, Mathieu Bonzon, Sean Harner, and Jon Heaney who were amazing and developed all the Covid-19 protocols, ensuring that all of the cast and crew were safe the entire time. We all operated in a “bubble” to limit exposure risks, and all productions around the world followed our path after that, which is incredible.

What’s next for you do you have any more projects on the horizon you can tell us about?

I can’t say too much at the moment unfortunately, but I do have a song coming out very soon, so stay tuned for that!

You’re also a musician, you write and produce your own music, where can we hear some of your songs?

Yes, I’ve been writing and producing my own music for a couple of years now and have been working with a producer in the U.S. I’m going to be releasing the first single really soon and it will be on all platforms.

Is that something you want to explore more in the future and who is someone you’d love to record with given the opportunity?

For sure, music has always been a passion of mine and I’ve grown up listening to all types of music, so I definitely want to keep working on that. That’s a good question. I’ve always loved Post Malone’s work, so to work with him on something would be crazy. Charlie Puth is also obviously super talented! I think a collaboration with him would be awesome.

You are also passionate about supporting wildlife charities including World Animal Protection and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital , why is that something that’s important to you?

I was brought up around a lot of animals and when I was eight, there was a World Animal Protection stand at a shopping mall and I was told about the bear bile industry and I realized that there were thousands of wild animals enduring senseless suffering and I wanted to give them a voice. That led me to create my own fundraiser, which gained a lot of attention here and overseas and inspired other kids to do the same. That taught me that it doesn’t take much to make a difference and everyone can help out in their own small way. World Animal Protection and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary are amazing organizations.

Any plans for the upcoming Easter break?

Nothing set in stone yet apart from trying to limit myself with the chocolate Easter eggs hahaha.


Socials: @neillfrazer

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Written by Neill Frazer

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