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Tag: Josh Wiggins (1-3 of 3)

Sundance breakout Josh Wiggins scores the lead in 'Max' -- EXCLUSIVE

Newcomer Josh Wiggins stole scenes from the likes of Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis in Kat Candler’s family drama Hellion after being plucked from YouTube obscurity.

Now, the 15-year-old Texas native is set for his first big, starring role in the family adventure Max. Inspired by true events, Max tells the story of a Belgian Shepherd working in Afghanistan alongside Marines. When his handler is killed, the man’s devastated family adopts the dog — erratic and still suffering from the traumas of war — who ends up bonding with and helping their troubled 14-year-old son, Justin (Wiggins). READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Aaron Paul has a 'Hellion' on his hands -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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For about 20 seconds, Hellion seems like it might be a quiet, introspective portrait of two young boys in Southeast Texas — lyricism in the vein of David Gordon Green’s George Washington or Terrence Malick’s, well, everything. Malick’s longtime producer Sarah Green and modern auteur Jeff Nichols even produced it.

Then the motorcycle engines start revving and the atonal dawn sounds turn to screaming guitars. Hellion is something else. Hellion is heavy metal lyrical.

In Kat Candler’s film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will also be featured at SXSW, Aaron Paul plays Hollis, a grief-stricken widower and mostly absentee father to two young boys. The eldest, Jacob (the beguiling Josh Wiggins) is a troublemaker and the younger seems to be on the same path. Nothing is easy for this family, and things just continue to go downhill for them when the state steps in.

EW has an exclusive clip of Hellion’s explosive opening. Not even Jesse Pinkman was this angry.

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Sundance 2014: The next Leonardo DiCaprio? Meet 'Hellion' breakout Josh Wiggins

When we first meet 13-year-old Jacob in Kat Candler’s Hellion, he’s hopping on his motorbike and furiously speeding away. In the next scene, he’s demolishing a vehicle in the parking lot of a high school football game as heavy-metal guitars scream. He bashes in the windshield with a bat as his friends decorate the doors with red spray paint. Jacob even seems to get one last shot in after he realizes that a few angry adults have spotted them.

These are deeply angry young men, but Jacob is more nuanced than a rage monster thanks to the stunning breakout performance of Josh Wiggins. As the eldest brother of a Southeast Texas family in turmoil — mom’s dead, dad (played with stoic gruffness by Aaron Paul) is basically a shell — the now 15-year-old Texas native is a revelation, reminiscent of a teenage Leonardo DiCaprio in his breakout role in 1993’s This Boy’s Life. With his intense brow, angular face and piercing eyes, he even kind of resembles DiCaprio physically. “I get that… sometimes,” Wiggins laughs.

Unlike Leo, though, Wiggins was discovered on YouTube.

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