At only 17, Kodi Smit-McPhee is probably best known for starring in somewhat macabre projects — from Let Me In to The Road, his precocious darkness and intense gaze seem to always be on display. Even ParaNorman‘s Norman Babcock was a bit of an outcast. Even though A Birder’s Guide to Everything isn’t exactly devoid of difficult emotional truths (and OK, OK, a gawky high school kid obsessed with birding might still fit into “charmingly misunderstood outcast” territory), Smit-McPhee was thrilled to finally get to work with actors his own age.
“I was into the nostalgia of having a group again — a kid group like Goonies, Stand by Me, going on an adventure,” said Smit-McPhee. He’d never seen the River Phoenix coming-of-age pic till his co-star Alex Wolff introduced him to it during filming. Viewings quickly became an on-set ritual. “We used to go to each other’s rooms and watch the movie all the time. It was really fun,” he said.
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