Photo: © Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival
From exploring Willy Wonka's magical world as Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to British candy factories as chef Nigel Slater in the recent BBC autobiographical film Toast, Freddie Highmore infuses his characters with a sense of self.
P&C: Of all the characters you have played, which do you most relate to?
Highmore: There’s a little bit of me in every character. I try to keep each as grounded as possible by making the characters believable — in other words, they’ve all got a piece of me in them.
P&C: How do you stay grounded?
Highmore: I have a great family that supports me — and it really helped that my dad also does movies. I had a pretty normal upbringing — I wasn’t homeschooled, and I still went out with friends and played soccer.
P&C: Your favorite way to spend family time?
Highmore: Enjoying long meals and playing games. Every year, around Christmas, we spend time in the countryside — that's important to me.
P&C: Growing up, did you always want to act?
Highmore: I think every 5-year-old dreams of being a soccer player. I was privileged to have this opportunity [as an actor], but I’ve always loved soccer.
P&C: Your all-time favorite books?
Highmore: In no particular order, Catcher in the Rye, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Life of Pi, and Toast, an autobiography that the movie was based on. I also wish I read more poetry. [For more book recommmendations, check out our 100 Greatest Books for Kids!]
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Megan Hess is a digital editor for Parent & Child.