Aidan Pierce Brennan On Transforming Into A Young Charlie Manx For AMC’s ‘NOS4A2’

During season two of the AMC series “NOS4A2” we have learned quite a bit of backstory behind Charlie Manx, played by actor Zachary Quinto, as well as, Christmasland.

We also got to see a much younger version of Charlie Manx, expertly portrayed by young actor Aidan Pierce Brennan. Brennan is already well on his way to becoming a household name, as he got his start in the web series “Sitters” as the age of eight and has continued to hone his craft appearing in the ABC series “Forever”, the Netflix/Marvel series “The Punisher”, and Showtime’s “Ray Donovan”.

Brennan’s current projects include starring opposite Katie Holmes, Jerry O’Connell and Josh Lucas in highly anticipated film based upon the best-selling novel “The Secret” and of course his role on AMC’s “NOS4A2” for which he was gracious enough to take a few minutes out of his day to speak to us about. Brennan talks about his transformation into the young Charlie Manx character, as well as, his favorite moments on set and more!

You have done some tremendously big projects at your young age. How much of a whirlwind has everything been for you in the acting world? You have been doing an amazing job! 

AIDEN PIERCE BRENNAN: Thank you so much for saying that! It’s been really nice and as I’m getting older I am becoming more and more capable of taking on some more profound and bigger roles. That makes me really happy, but it’s still a little scary being near and working with so many professionals who I admire. I’m really happy that I’m seeing these opportunities and I’m hoping that I’m doing the best I can with them.

How did you enjoy your time on the set of NOS4A2? It was great to finally see the backstory for Charlie Manx unfold this season. 

That whole kind of like dark tone and the ominous thing you see on the show, I think in the best way possible is really reflected on set. The whole vibe on the set, and not to say I didn’t enjoy my time there, everyone was super professional and super nice and super helpful which was great, but we shot in the middle of the woods in Rhode Island and we shot on this lakefront and it was the fall season so it was really foggy and sort of cold and it provided this atmosphere where it was really easy to get into character.

I can only imagine! Do you have a favorite on-set moment?

I actually do! As you know, Charlie Manx has his signature teeth and we went back and forth for two weeks if I’m going to wear teeth or not, so I was like alright, we’ve got to figure this out because I’ve had fake teeth in before and I know it takes some getting used to and to be able to start speaking with … so when we were in rehearsals … about two weeks before we started shooting I’m on-location and then someone comes in and goes ‘here are your teeth’ and I’m like ‘oh, my gosh!’ and I put them in and they were so big on me I can’t even speak, and everyone was telling me you have to wear them when you sleep and for the next two weeks you have to talk with them and you have to get used to them and then after all that we decided, in the end, we wouldn’t wear teeth because I tried them on and when I spoke with them no one understood a word I was saying! (laughs) So, that was probably the funniest and best moment for me!

Did you at least get to keep the teeth? 

I wish, I wish! Believe me, I asked! (laughs) They were like, that’s too disgusting!

As you continue to hone your craft as an actor and take on more roles, is there anything you are surprised to learn about yourself as a person? 

Yes, for instance when you are playing a character that already exists, especially when you are playing a young version of that character, you have to find a sense of innocence within them and at the same time, you have to find that within yourself as well. As crazy as it sounds you have to find a little bit of Charlie Manx in yourself. You have to find that place and that innocence and you have to go there and I think whenever you are playing any character you have to find those similarities between you and that character. You have to see the character in yourself in some ways.

Can you talk a bit about the premiere of your film “The Secret”? With the book being a best-seller, so many people are looking forward to the film!

The movie is available now on all streaming services, so I am very excited! I actually made a choice, and it sounds foolish, but they actually gave us the option to see the movie four or five months ago, I said no, I was too scared, so the first time I am going to be seeing it is now that it’s been officially released with a bunch of my friends at a theater that my friend’s mom set up. I can’t wait to see it! I’m excited.

Are there any other upcoming projects in the works for you? How are you keeping busy during these times of quarantine?

I’m still doing some auditioning for roles from home and I have an independent film that I did a very long time ago, in fact, about three years ago, and it is a film about baseball and a Hasidic Jewish family that lives in Brooklyn, New York and it is really a story about passions and chasing passions and he loves the sport and his family doesn’t really support that as they want him to focus on school and religion and there is also an older brother who is mentally ill and a sister as well, so the film covers a lot of dark subject matter, but it is incredibly inspirational especially during these times. It is a lot about continuing to pursue your passions and getting through the hard times. That should be coming out on the streaming services later this summer.

Do you have a dream role you’d like to tackle in the future? 

I do! My all-time dream actor is Joaquin Phoenix and just watching him in his variety of roles is what really made me want to get into acting.  I was blown away that someone could pull off those roles and become those characters. I like the characters he chooses to play as well! They are a lot of dark characters and you know what?  He never turns in the same performance even if they are very similar characters, he adds nuances to everyone and I hope one day I get the opportunity to play a role such as his in “Walk The Line” or “The Master”, as those are two of my favorite movies.

Well, you are certainly well on your way! You’ve done a terrific job so far? 

Thank you very much!

 

 

 

 

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