This Christmas, most of us will be plonking ourselves down in front of the TV to watch a jolly old Christmas movie or the Doctor Who Christmas Special. What most of us won’t be doing is watching ourselves in a jolly old Christmas movie with Doctor Who, but that’s exactly what youngsters Scott Folan and Eleanor Grant will be doing.
The two 13-year-olds are both pupils at Bodens Youth Theatre group and performing arts studio in Barnet, and can both be seen at cinemas across the country now in Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger with David Tennant, Jessica Hynes and Marc Wootton.
“It was really amazing, a really great experience,” says Scott, who lives in Whetstone and goes to the Wren Academy in North Finchley. “On the screen you don’t really get an idea of how nice they are. They were all really nice to the kids and answered any questions we had. We were asking David Tennant all about Doctor Who, and he said that was his favourite thing that he’d done.”
Scott plays the part of Scott, one of a group of pupils who are entered into a national Sing a Song for Christmas competition in Wales. The film was shot over six weeks in October and November of 2011 in Coventry and Wales – and was completely improvised. The cast were only told the story bit by bit, once filming had already begun.
“I'm one of the pupils in the posh school,” Scott laughs, “so it was all about acting posh, which was a bit of a challenge for me. I’ve seen the film twice now and my voice sounds really high!”
Scott has been attending classes at Bodens since he was nine. Manager Adam Boden is very proud of both Scott and Eleanor, who lives in Palmers Green.
”Both Scott and Eleanor are incredibly gifted singers,” he says. “They both have a beautiful tone and quality to their voices. Although there are a lot of children in the film, Eleanor has a very featured role and Scott gets a lot of time on camera, so I was immensely proud of their achievements. You never know how much you are going to be included in any final edit, so it speaks for their ability, the amount they are in the final film.”
Nativity 2 is the official Children in Need film of 2012 and was first screened on November 11 at a special charity screening, before the official premiere on November 14. Scott was at both events.
“It was really weird, seeing myself up there on the screen,” he says. “The second time, I was with my friends and family and I stood up to leave at the end and they all cheered when my name came up on the credits. It was a bit embarrassing, to be honest!”
Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger is in cinemas now.