Ed Oxenbould in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Ed Oxenbould in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Dale Robinette

Bad day good for Ed: Aussie actor lands covetted role

ED Oxenbould is the latest Aussie actor to nab a headlining role in a Hollywood film.

But what makes his career breakthrough all the more impressive is that Oxenbould is just 13 years old.

The Melbourne teen, best known to local audiences for his role in Channel 10's '70s surf drama Puberty Blues, stars as the titular Alexander in Disney's big-screen adaptation of the beloved children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

The film follows the down-and-out Alexander when his innocent wish that the rest of his busy family could know what it's like to have a very bad day magically comes true.

"That day is cursed. Everything that could go wrong goes wrong," Oxenbould told APN.

"I've never had a day quite like that.

"Alexander no doubt is a pessimist. He's always looking on the down side of things.

"I'm not like that but I can be like that. Most of the time I consider myself a glass-half-full guy."

The family comedy, which stars Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner as Alexander's time-poor parents, has already earnt more than $63 million in the US.

Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould (front), Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey and Steve Carell in the movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould (front), Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey and Steve Carell in the movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Dale Robinette

Oxenbould beat out 500 other young actors for the coveted role, despite his initially dodgy American accent.

"The majority of them (the other actors) would have had American accents, so it's crazy I beat them (for the role)," he said.

"It (my American accent) was all right but it definitely needed some work.

"The most difficult thing was just making it sound authentic, not like you're putting on an accent. I had a fantastic dialogue coach who taught me every little trick."

Ironically, Alexander is obsessed with Australia in the film and Oxenbould got the chance to work with a lot of Australian animals, including kangaroos, an emu and a wombat.

 "It was funny to be Australian and play an Australia lover," he said.

"I loved working with the animals. I got to touch a lot of animals I'd never encountered before, even though I'm Australian. I'd never seen an emu up close."

The movie has helped Oxenbould to land more film roles, including M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming new horror movie The Visit. He also stars in the Australian drama Paper Planes, due for release in January, opposite Sam Worthington.

"It has opened so many new doors and I get a lot of scripts (now)," he said.

"I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't done it.

"This was a whole new experience for me. Puberty Blues and a couple of short films did prepare me for it, but they definitely didn't prepare me for how big and crazy it was going to be."

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day opens tomorrow.


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