'I was always shapeshifting': Aussie actor Devon Terrell reveals struggle with mixed-raced identity .... after playing a young Barack Obama in new Netflix film Barry
He's the boy from Perth who is portraying one of the most powerful leaders in the world.
But while Australian actor Devon Terrell might have grown up worlds away from US president Barack Obama, the 24-year-old has revealed they aren't as different as people might think.
On Tuesday, Devon told News Corp about their similar upbringings and how it helped him prepare for his role in the soon-to-be released Netflix movie Barry.
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'I was always shapeshifting': Australian actor Devon Terrell has revealed his struggles growing up mixed race after playing a young Barack Obama in Netflix movie Barry
The rising star was born in the United States to an Anglo-Indian mum and African-American dad, however, moved to Australia with his family at the age of five.
The NIDA graduate landed the role of Barack after one Skype call and audition, something he believes can be attributed to his mixed-race upbringing.
'I told [director] Vikram [Gandhi] my life story. When I moved to Perth I had to change my accent and had to figure out what was going. I didn’t know anyone who was Anglo-Indian and African-American so I didn’t know if I was Indian or African-American. I was always shapeshifting,' Devon said.
Both made the move: Both Devon and Barack moved to New York City as young adults
'I was very good at shifting in my life and then I became an actor and it became very seamless, this "I know this game of putting on different voices and masks".'
The similarities continue between the president and Devon, with both of them moving to New York City as young adults.
Barack's time in the Big Apple as a student at Columbia University also forms the focus of the film.
Studied hard: The 24-year-old Perth actor also revealed he worked hard to master Barack's unique way of speaking
Major role: The star turn is the first for Devon, whose only previous experience was in an unsuccessful HBO pilot
Playing the future president required Devon to perfect his accent, as well as mastering the demeanor of a talented person who wasn't quite there yet.
'It wasn’t the Barack we know today,' he said.
'It was about the flawed young man we don’t know. I think the film shows this young, awkward but charismatic young man who’s so intelligent but can’t articulate what he’s trying to say.'
The star-making role is also the first major part for Devon, whose only previous credit includes an unsuccessful HBO pilot shot with Steve McQueen.
The up and coming actor told GQ earlier this year had always been a dream role for him as a performer.
Alike: Devon shares an uncanny similarity in appearance to the future president of the United States
Dream job: Earlier this year Devon told GQ how it had been his dream to play the president one day
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