Chatting up Animal Kingdom’s James Frecheville

James Frecheville, 19, is an actor from Melbourne currently based in Los Angeles. A role in 2010’s award winning crime family thriller “Animal Kingdom” propelled him and the rest of the cast into the Hollywood spotlight.

When Billabout asked James to do this interview, his response was, “Can we wait six months?” — humbly assuming he was too fresh off the boat. We laughed and said “No, now,” and dragged him off to Bloom, a cute little organic café on Pico Blvd in Los Angeles. Counting on a good meal to calm his nerves, we chatted him up about “Animal Kingdom,” unexpected stardom and his highly anticipated next feature film, “The First Time.”

How did you get the role of Josh in “Animal Kingdom?”

There was an open call at my high school, so I put my name on the list and went in for the audition. I got a callback and went back in for more tests over the coming weeks. On New Year’s Eve of 2009, they told me I got the part. Then, I got appropriately shitfaced

What’s your favourite U.S. city?

Park City, Utah. I was only there for five days for Sundance in 2010, but I had enough fun there to warrant my choice.

Have you had any weird L.A. celebrity moments?

Confessing to Nicolas Cage in an elevator that I loved “Raising Arizona” was equal parts awkward and perfect.

When do you start shooting your next film, “The First Time?”

I start shooting in mid-April and, according to the director, I play “a poser with good taste,” so the character is going to be a bit of fun

What’s your dream role?

The one that I’m writing right now.

How do you prepare for a role?

I don’t really have a method or process. I read the script a heap, and love to sit down with the director and talk ideas. I read the script some more, think about it a lot and then do it.

What’s your favourite area in L.A.?

West Hollywood is great. I usually stay with a pack of friends, and I’ve made friends with the neighbours – so when I’m left alone, I play chess with my pal from next door.

What’s the general perception of Aussie actors in L.A.?

Generally people have nice things to say about Australians.

Bar of choice?

The one I can weasel my way into without an I.D. card.

James Frecheville waiting to order at In and Out, California's famous burger chain.

Where would you like to be in:

Six months: Out of debt from buying a laptop and plane tickets.
Three years: Having my scripts produced and being in a variety of movies.
Ten years: Wiser.

A quote you follow: “The world belongs to those who hustle” – Unknown.

Can you tell us some inspirational Aussies living in America that you look up to?

I don’t know how permanent their U.S. residency is, but probably Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn and Sullivan Stapleton. The success they’ve found since “Animal Kingdom” is deserved, and it’s nice to have some great actors nearby if I need any advice.

Any advice for actors starting out?

Work hard and have fun. The “right place at the right time” always plays a large factor, so have fun along the way and something will pop sooner or later.

Any parting words?

Listen to your mother and go on Billabout daily.

Interview by Katrina Symonds, Billabout Swagman and contributing writer.

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