Joel Courtney Went To LA For A Commercial, Got Super 8 Instead

Check out this article over at Comic Book Resources:

The Super 8 opening box office was $37 million, and reviews haven’t been as across-the-board glowing as pre-release suggested they might be — really, is that ever the case? — but it’s essentially J.J. Abrams performing a cover of a Steven Spielberg movie. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Newcomer Joel Courtney is central to the story as young Joe Lamb, a teen dealing with the sudden loss of his mother and the far-reaching implications of that incident. His performance — really, that of all the child actors — is top-notch. It’s an especially impressive feat when you consider Courtney’s virtually non-existent acting background prior to his Super 8 experience.

“I’ve been acting for a year and a half. I’d had six acting classes before [shooting Super 8],” he told Spinoff Online last week. “It’s my brother, Caleb Courtney, who has wanted to act for a really long time.”

“I came down to visit him in LA, and that’s when I got the call about the [Super 8] audition. And so I was really excited. I wanted to get an audition for a commercial and [earn] $100, that was my goal for the summer. And I got Super 8, so …” Courtney trailed off, chuckling somewhat nervously at what is surely the latest bizarre turn in the roller-coaster he’s been riding for more than a year now.

It all started with a call from his acting coach, who’s also a casting director [Seattle's Patti Kalles], with word of the Super 8 audition. Courtney went in and apparently left whoever watched him very impressed, as he received two immediate callbacks on that day alone.

“They had me sit in this other room, so I was kind of nervous, I didn’t know what they meant,” he explained. “They brought me some more scenes and I just figured that’s gotta be good. And then they did that again to me the same day, so that was kind of crazy. And then a while later they had me come back.”

“I came back 11 times, and a lot of them were chemistry auditions to see who would be really good friends,” he added. “Because in the movie, if you notice the chemistry between the kids, it looks like we’ve known each other since we were like really young because the chemistry there is just perfect between the kids. J.J. really wanted that to be spot-on, so a lot of them were inside acting with your friends and the other half was hanging out with all the other actors to see who the chemistry would be the best with.”

Joel Courtney