Sydney, Australia native Keiynan Lonsdale may be new to the American Silver Screen, but he is a veteran performer in his home country.
Lonsdale will join the cast of the Divergent franchise when the sequel, Insurgent, hits the big screen in March 2015. Lonsdale’s character, Uriah, was in the first novel, but the film version of the series has held off introducing him until now.
“The introduction of my character was different than it was in the books, but the friendship between Uriah and Tris remains true to the story,” Lonsdale says.
As his first American project, filming Insurgent was an adventure for Lonsdale. “It was crazy and scary. It took a bit to get my head around working on such a big project, but when I got there and started working with everyone, I realized how comfortable I could be. The whole process felt easy.”
Lonsdale had nothing but praise for his co-stars and the crew involved with Insurgent. “I loved working with everyone. The cast, the director, the producers and the author were all great.”
The best part of working on Insurgent, according to Lonsdale, was working with the cast. “It was amazing being involved with a cast of such cool and up-and-coming actors. This was a great cast doing great things.”
Lonsdale began acting at the age of four. He performed through his school years, though usually as a dancer. It wasn’t until he was cast in Fame: The Musical that he realized how much he enjoyed acting.
“I performed as Ollie on Dance Academy for two years. Then I hosted MTV in Australia before trying my luck in America.”
Lonsdale returned home when his funds ran out, but he never gave up on his dreams. “I sent a video audition for Insurgent and later we did the call-back via Skype.”
Lonsdale has remained in the US after filming for Insurgent wrapped so he could work on The Finest Hours.
Working alongside Chris Pine and Casely Afleck, Lonsdale found himself going from a cast of contemporaries to one where he was the youngest. “I flew to Boston the day after we wrapped Insurgent. Working on this film has been the best of both worlds because I’ve been able to learn from the cast while demonstrating my craft.”
The Finest Hours is based on the true story of a Coast Guard rescue mission from the 1950s and is expected to be released in October 2015.
When filming for The Finest Hours concludes, Lonsdale hopes to find more roles. “This year moved a lot faster than I predicted, so what I want for the next year is to make the right decisions. I don’t want to do anything just for the sake of doing it after the experiences I’ve had this year.”
Lonsdale hopes to continue with the Divergent franchise while improving his craft. “The main thing I’ve gotten out of the last six months is knowledge. I hope next year is the same. I hope I come out of it smarter and more aware of myself.”