You may know him as "the older brother from Jurassic World" or as "Ryder from Melissa & Joey", you may even know him as "the kid who built a wooden house in the woods", but here's the deal, you will all know him as Hollywood's next big thing, and his name is: NICK ROBINSON.
You will most likely recognize him as Zach Mitchell, the moody older brother from Jurassic World who was too concerned with womanizing when he should have been looking after his little brother, that is, until...Enter Dinosaurs, then his priorities significantly change, for the better. But there's so much more to Nick Robinson than just that "the older brother from Jurassic World" meme floating about the internet. Sometimes you see a young actor perform and you just go "Wow, they've got 'it'". Whatever 'it' is, I don't know. But I do know that this guy has went from strength to strength and will continue to flourish on the big screen in the coming years. Having spent his teenage years on a highly popular sitcom as well as having a Disney movie, an Independent smash and now a mega blockbuster to his name, he now focuses on his next blockbuster due out in January of next year. Zach was a great role, but it may not be Robinson's best role as there are solid contenders for that title. However, there's no denying that it has garnered him the recognition that he deserves. It's clear to me that he has an even brighter future ahead in Hollywood (let's face it, his present is pretty bright!) and it kicks off as early as the end of this year.
But before we begin delving into his breakthrough roles on the big screen, I feel it's important to mention the show that made him famous. Nick Robinson began his journey to stardom as Ryder Scanlon, Melissa Joan Hart's nephew on ABC Family's hilarious sitcom Melissa & Joey. For some reason, this seems to be his most underrated role of all. I get that everybody loves drama and as Robinson matures he'll probably appear in more dramatic roles but we should not forget how talented he is at comedy. His performance as Ryder is often overlooked because it's on television, however, he played that role brilliantly from 2010 (when he was only 14) right up until the show's final season earlier this year. Even as he filmed 4 movies during that period, he still made time for the show, never forgetting where he began. No matter what Ryder was up to, whether it was becoming an internet sensation or playing video games in his dressing gown, Robinson never failed to deliver a performance that would make us laugh. Yes, he is fantastic in his dramatic performances but we should never forget his effortless comedic performance on Melissa & Joey and I wouldn't be surprised if he were to return to comedy sometime in the future. I definitely recommend watching Melissa & Joey, it's a comedy gem!
As I mentioned, over the course of Melissa and Joey's five years, Robinson filmed four movies, as well as starring on the show. The first one was the quirky but heart-warming Disney film Frenemies that exclusively premiered on the Disney channel to 4.2 million viewers. However, it was his role as Joe Toy in the Coming-of-Age Independent film The Kings of Summer that is credited as his breakthrough role.
The Kings of Summer centers around Joe (Robinson) whose strained relationship with his father continues to disintegrate and as a result, he builds a house in the woods with his friend Patrick and the unique Biaggio. The film is an unusually comedic drama beautifully written by first timer Chris Galetta and is also the first feature film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The Kings of Summer received praise from critics, with the Chicago Tribune commenting on it's "beautiful sequences and solid acting". It garnered Robinson quite a lot of recognition, including a Phoenix Film Critic award nomination for Best Performance by a Youth. This was his first leading role and he made a significant mark. Many would argue that from an acting standpoint, this is definitely Robinson's best performance to date. And I'm not sure I could disagree. His acting chops here are pretty amazing. In fact, it was this role that led director Colin Trevorrow to track him down and cast him as Zach in Jurassic World.
The Kings of Summer did great things for Robinson's career. One of them was the fact that it led to his casting in Jurassic World, which is arguably his most important role so far. Being a massive fan of the franchise since my childhood, I loved everything about Jurassic World and I really felt that Nick Robinson added so much to the role. Zach Mitchell may not have been the most likable character in the world (or the film!) but it's hard to deny the chemistry that Robinson shared with his on-screen little brother Ty Simpkins. There are those who dislike the Jurassic format of heavily featuring kids in each film, but I really felt that both Robinson and Simpkins did a fantastic job. Whether they were running away from the Indominous Rex or bonding in the back of a van, they really delivered believable and authentic performances that I felt were as strong as the kids in the beloved first film.
Jurassic World introduced Robinson to an entirely new audience. In fact, it's pretty safe to say that it introduced him to every audience, because the Jurassic Park franchise appeals to just about everyone. Jurassic World's release this past June was historic. It has gone on to become the highest grossing film of the year and the third highest grossing film of all time, raking in an astonishing $1,607,353,831! Now if that's not exposure I don't know what is! Moreover, whether they hated Zach or loved Zach, many people have commented on Robinson's role in the film (not to mention spawning the "older brother from Jurassic World" meme). But like I said at the beginning of this article, Nick Robinson is so much more than just that. He spent the past five years entertaining us on the small screen and in an independent classic and now Jurassic World has catapulted him into the mainstream spotlight. And now, as the year draws to a close, he is set to give us the best of both worlds in his next projects, The 5th Wave and Being Charlie.
Being Charlie is another character-driven piece (much like The Kings of Summer) and is set to premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival in September. It is directed by Rob Reiner and was co-written by Reiner's son Nick and Matt Elisofon. It stars Robinson in the lead role (as Charlie). It also co stars: Common, Devon Bostick, Cary Elwes and Morgan Saylor. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film centers on Charlie, "an 18-year-old who breaks out of a youth drug treatment clinic, but when he returns home to Los Angeles, he's given an intervention by his parents and forced to go to an adult rehab. There, he meets a beautiful but troubled girl, Eva, and is forced to battle with drugs, elusive love and divided parents." Not too much else is known about the film at this time, but it sounds like another great emotional piece!
Then, in January, Robinson will return to the big screens in the upcoming Science Fiction thriller film The 5th Wave, playing the role of Ben Parish/"Zombie". Now this is set to be a big one. The 5th Wave is an adaptation of the 2013 book by Rick Yancey. The book received critical acclaim, with USA Today referring to it as a "modern sci-fi masterpiece" that "should do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires". I read the novel earlier this year and I have to say that it is one of the most compelling novels I've ever read. So I, and many others, have high hopes for this film. Ben Parish is one of the two main characters in the novel so once again, Nick Robinson is set to deliver another starring role! It also stars Chloe Grace Moretz as Cassie (the primary protagonist who believes that she is the last human survivor on Earth), Alex Roe as the mysterious Evan Walker and Liev Schreiber as Colonel Vosch. The 5th Wave is due to hit theaters on January 15, 2016 and is destined to be a hit! Plus, if The 5th Wave is successful like the book and a sequel is greenlit, there's no doubt that he will reprise his role of Ben Parish in The Infinite Sea and there are also hopes that he will return for Jurassic World 2 in 2018.
His other credits include an abundance of theater roles when he was younger, a cameo in the brilliant short-film The Cav Kid and a guest role on Boardwalk Empire.
So with a pretty impressive resume for someone so young (he's only 20!), as well as all those projects in the pipeline, it's a safe bet that Nick Robinson is going to be one of the stars of tomorrow, if not today! He has the makings of a star: he not only looks the part, but he also seems really down to earth (I've watched interviews!) and most of all, his performances have highlighted his array of versatile acting skills.
Watch this space: Nick Robinson is going to be around for a very long time!
Catch Nick in The 5th Wave when it hits theaters on January 15, 2016!