Starting acting at just nine years old, Freddie Preston went on to play Miecio Kenigswein in The Zookeeper’s Wife and 2019 will see him act alongside Kiera Knightley and Alexander Skarsgård in the new release The Aftermath. Last year, Freddie took to the stage to play the role of Young Harry Potter in the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at London’s Palace Theatre. Taking time out to answer our questions, Freddie tells us how he got into acting, about filming for TV show Legends and how it felt to play Young Harry Potter.
How did you first get involved with acting?
I started modelling when I was seven and I realised I enjoyed being in front of the camera and when I was nine I asked to go along to a TV audition in Prague where we were living at the time. It was for “Legends” series two with Sean Bean. My little brother, Theo, came with me and we were cast as brothers in it.
How has your time been on stage with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?
It was such an incredible experience. It was amazing to be on such a big stage in a beautiful theatre. The show is a real work of art, so I was thrilled to be part of it. The whole cast and crew are not only super talented but they were also such great, down-to-earth people and they really welcomed me into the show.
How did it feel playing Young Harry Potter for the first time and when was your opening night?
I was really nervous and excited at the same time. I’d never performed in front of such a huge audience (1400 people), and in the green room I had a lot of butterflies! My opening night was the 27th July 2017 and I’ll always remember that date.
How long were you in rehearsals for?
Really not long at all – maybe ten hours in total over a few weeks. I had to get up to speed very quickly!
Was this your first stage role and would you like to do more?
It was my first professional stage role, and what an amazing first show to be in! I’d love the opportunity to do more. Once you have been on the West End stage, you’ll always want to do more.
Have you been in the audience of any West End shows recently?
No, but I recently went to a great production of ‘Goodnight, Mr Tom’ at the Southwark Playhouse.
What was it like playing the character of Miecio Kenigswein in The Zookeeper’s Wife?
It was a daunting experience because the story is very intense. Miecio was a real-life character, a Jewish boy who survived WW2 against all the odds. Jessica Chastain played the role of the Zookeeper’s wife brilliantly and she was really lovely to work with.
How long, and where, did you film?
The film was made in Prague over a few months. I spent ten days on set.
How was it on the set of Britannia?
It felt mythical but real at the same time. The set was so realistic. I played a Druid Boy opposite Mackenzie Crook who had really scary make-up. He’s a great actor.
What was it like acting alongside Sean Bean in Legends?
I was delighted that my first acting job was alongside such a high profile actor. He was very friendly and relaxed though.
How long did filming take?
We filmed one day in Prague and one day in London.
How was the experience for your first time on a major set?
I didn’t realise how much effort goes into everything behind the camera. There was a big crew and a lot of equipment. Everyone works really hard.
Is there anything you are able to tell us about your involvement with The Aftermath?
The film doesn’t get released until next year, but I can tell you that I play Michael Morgan, the son of Kiera Knightley’s character in the movie. She is an amazing actress and lovely to work with.
What career do you think you’d go into if you were not acting?
I really like maths so maybe I’d go into business or be an entrepreneur!
What are your acting plans for 2019?
I just shot an episode of “Knightfall” season two, directed by Samira Radsi who really understands how to work with actors. For 2019 I’d love to do as much acting work as possible, whilst juggling school work too, of course!