Our triple threat

Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: March 10, 2007 | Publication: Winnipeg Sun | Author: Liz Braun
Publication/Article Link:http://winnipegsun.com/Entertainment/Movies/2007/03/10/3725434-sun.html

Only one thing stops the unstoppable Spartans in the blockbuster movie 300, and it's a child.

A Canadian child, as it happens.

Alexandra Beaton appears in a rare emotional moment in 300, wandering ghost-like into a scene of death and carnage as the only survivor of a ransacked village. Leonidas (Gerard Butler), noble king of the Spartans, holds her as she dies. It's absolutely heartbreaking.

The 12-year-old Beaton seems thus far blissfully unaware that she is a showstopper in what may be the year's biggest movie. 300, which began life as a graphic novel from Frank Miller, is a fabulous retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. It's all swashing and bucklng and brave Spartans battling the massive army of Xerxes of Persia.

BAD AUDITION

Chatting cheerfully down the phone from her home outside Toronto, the young actress says that she was certain she'd ruined her 300 auditon. "I just wanted to go home to go to sleep that day. I was tired and hungry. But so was the character," she says philosophically, "so I guess that worked."

"I find, with auditioning, that when you think you've done badly, you get it, and when you think you've done well, you don't get the job."

More often than not, Beaton gets the job. A skilled singer and dancer as well as an actor -- a triple threat -- she expressed an interest in performing at a very early age. "I had seen the movie The Little Mermaid," she says, referring to the animated Disney film,"and I was little and I thought they were real people. I told my mom I wanted to be an actor when I got older."

Beaton's dad is a businessman, and her mom is CTV Newsnet's daytime anchor, Kate Wheeler.

The Grade 7 student has acted in commercials, appeared in a half-dozen community and school productions and had a stint at the Shaw Festival in 2005 as Baby June in Gypsy. Beaton was the only Canadian girl asked to auditon for the role of Jane Banks in Mary Poppins on Broadway. She's obviously very talented, and if first impressions count for anything, she's a terrific kid.

Being part of 300 was amazing, she says.

"Everyone was so nice. They take you there to get used to the set. If you forget a line or make a mistake, you just laugh it off and start again. Gerard Butler was so nice, and Zach Snyder (the director) was great," she says. "The wardrobe people were amazing. You hear actors are snobby sometimes, but they're not."

Beaton says she's having a great time performing, but thinks she'll probably be a vet when she's an adult.

"So Alex is a triple threat, plus a vet," her mom says, laughing.

'FALL BACK' PLANS

"She knows there are a million girls who want to be on the stage," Wheeler adds, "and she understands actors need something to fall back on."

Beaton mentions her cat, Nutmeg, and her dog, Bella. She says her friends have been supportive of all her acting work, and she names each one of them (Hey, Samantha, Julia, Naina, Mackenzie and Christie!) because she promised she would. She praises her teacher. She says her younger sister is also an actor, and adds, generously, "I think she should go into modelling, because she has such nice legs. And she's almost as tall as I am."

So: Would Beaton do a movie again?

She would, she says. But...

"Acting isn't all glamorous, like the stars make it out to be," she cautions. "You have to work all the time."